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Tip - Consider This Approach to Responding to a Difficult E-Mail

I wanted to give you a chance to cool down - I was pretty sure you wouldn't be happy with it. Consider what I say below. I think it will give you a chance to be more objective that you might be otherwise - and more pleased with the result than if you react.

Remember, you have the power to respond rather than react.

Quotes to Consider When Responding to a Difficult E-Mail...

Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
-Thomas Jefferson

Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
- S. Covey (?)

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
- Unknown

Steps to Consider When Responding to a Difficult E-Mail...
First, remember that you are in the driver's seat. It's up to you.

1) Read the writer's e-mail.

2) Take a break from it for a few hours and do something else engaging to get your mind off of it.

3) Read the writer's e-mail again.

4) Step into the shoes of the writer. Think about the position he is in and ***why*** he might say what he says.

5) Take a break.

6) Think Covey, think Win-Win even if that's not what you want at the moment. Find a way to get there or come as close as you can.

7) Take a *short* break.

8) Outline your response - don't write the whole thing - just include bullet points of your points and requests (not Demands).

9) From your outline, formulate and write your response, clearly and concisely stating both your points and anything you are asking for.

10) Save as a draft and leave it alone for the night (optionally ask for editorial from others if you desire).

11) Next day: Type in the epiphany you had last night - dreams and good break often lead to amazing breakthroughs.

12) Read again, editing things you want to change and incorporating others edits - as desired. Re-read each section you modify to make sure it still flows correctly.

13) Send it to whomever you desire as recipients. Really consider the list you want, keeping in mind everyone will see everyone that is on the distribution list - at least the way we normally send e-mail. Remember, you can always forward you sent copy. Don't BCC anyone (accidents can happen).

In Closing...

I really think that taking a less-than-aggressive approach you can be much more productive and in the end be more please with the outcome.

It's up to you.