how to respond to a hostile email

Perhaps it was from an angry customer, a bullying co-worker, or a boss who thought reaming you would improve your performance. Focus on the accurate statements you want to make, not on the inaccurate statements the other person made. Which is why your response to hostile emails can affect not only your relationships but also the outcome of a case. by Catherine Mattice Zundel | January 8, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments, by Catherine Mattice Zundel | January 4, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments, by Catherine Mattice Zundel | December 9, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments, by Catherine Mattice Zundel | December 2, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments, by Catherine Mattice Zundel | November 6, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments, by Rebecca Del Secco | November 6, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments, by Catherine Mattice Zundel | October 8, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments, by Catherine Mattice Zundel | September 30, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments, by Catherine Mattice Zundel | September 11, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments, Phone: 619-268-5055 Email: Info@CivilityPartners.com, © 2021 Civility Partners | All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy. Whatever the case knowing how to rebuke allegations is something that anyone in the spotlight should know how to do. Most of this is just “venting,” and has little real significance. Consequently, the employer can be liable for creating or promoting a hostile environment. Consequently, the employer can be liable for creating or promoting a hostile … It can happen in any business meeting: Some unhappy employee asks a question that is off-topic, related only to their own situation, or to push another agenda. Yelling customers making threats face customer service agents in almost every company on any given day. When you receive an angry email, don’t be offended. Dig deep to understand and appreciate how the customer feels, and respond … Firm: Avoid comments that invite more discussion. Try as hard as you can to sound as relaxed and empathetic as possible. Sending a resignation letter via email is typically an acceptable way to resign, depending on the company's culture and the specifics laid out in the employment contract. When you are crafting your email reply, avoid being emotional or using emotionally charged language. It can be tempting to fire back and also very easy for one message to turn into an email war zone. Weave values into your jobs portal or applicant tracking system. Whenever a situation looks like it might be getting out of hand, it’s always a good idea to bring someone in to help handle the situation. A BIFF Response® is a way to respond that usually puts a stop to the hostilities, while leaving you feeling good about yourself. Hostile email, texts and other electronic communications have become much more common over the past decade. Email is a challenging way to communicate strong emotions, and we could all use a little help. Often, it is emotional venting aimed at relieving the writer’s anxiety. To get answers, join me and another colleague, workplace violence expert Sue Hoffman, from Workplace Guardians, on March 3. Print your email out and read it. Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I … Avoid getting sucked in with your own emotions. The main reason to respond to hostile mail is to correct inaccurate statements which might be seen by others. They only have power if you give them power. Focus only on the facts and make no comments about character or personality. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. How to Respond to False Accusations. To get answers, join me and another colleague, workplace violence expert Sue Hoffman, from Workplace Guardians, on March 3. Heavy email volumes can wreak havoc on response times. After waiting a few hours to respond, you’ll be able to focus on the problem or issue that was the origin of the email rather than its tone. Perhaps it was from an angry customer, a bullying co-worker, or a boss who thought reaming you would improve your performance. A complaint letter is the best way of showing dissatisfaction with a particular product or services. Or maybe you’ve even received several hostile emails over time from the same person... To find out the best way to deal with hostile emails, I asked my friend and colleague, Bill Eddy, founder of the High Conflict Institute, for guidance. Click here to get your spot. Ask yourself – do I need to respond? Insert date name mr. Download a free letter sample in pdf word or copy and paste forms. The... Yikes, last Tuesday’s debate was brutal to watch. If your ex is simply venting, let them. However, some letters and emails develop power when copies are filed in a court or complaint process – or simply get sent to other people. I am the first point of call when customers come through the front door of the office complex. The sender may be venting and if you reply with equal emotion you could make things worse, inviting them to fire one back and so on. Before you respond - either via email or in person - take a moment to breathe, then clarify the intent of the message and formulate what you want to say in response. When do hostile emails count as workplace violence? My connections have been sharing their political views and, in some cases, very adamant opinions on who to vote for. To help, here are 13 customizable templates. Catherine Mattice Zundel, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, 3 Questions to Reflect on Your Employer Brand. When it comes to email correspondence, remember to keep your messages brief and to the point, as some recipients may … If your co-worker or boss is just on a rant with nothing important to say then don’t respond, as tempting as it may be to fire back. If you need a reply, give 2 clear choices for future action and provide a firm reply date. They only have power if you give them power. He assured me that I shouldn’t take her response personally, because there were other factors involved. Dear Sir, I hope this email meets you well. Come back after you’ve rediscovered the calm, rational person with you. If appropriate, consider including your personal email or LinkedIn connection in the response and indicate that you'd be willing to provide a reference or referral in the future, if applicable. Just seeing their name come in on an email is … A friendly response is focused on de-escalation, and other email recipients will notice that your response is clearly very different than the other person’s hostile email. According to Bill, the first step in responding to hostile emails is to ask yourself if they truly need an answer; not all emails need a response. When Audrey Murrell's mother was a biology student in the 1950s, she was told that she had to wait for all the white students to finish their experiments before she could use the lab. This is one of a series of brief Web articles suggesting effective ways to respond to common irritating social behaviors. You might think hostile emails must include something like a threat of violence or racial slur to be considered workplace violence or discrimination. Informative: The main reason to respond to a hostile e-mail is to correct inaccurate statements. A hostile world is out there, but the issue is, how do we respond? Say something that calmly ends the conversation. 1) BRIEF. Claim your seat. Mind the rules of professional etiquette and strive to make the interaction as positive as possible. Once you learn to readily recognize the … Once, my boss was able to interpret an email I received from one of our clients because he knew her very well. In reality, most hostile texts, emails, or letters do not require any response. Bill is an attorney, mediator and therapist, and the author of several books, including, BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Personal Attacks, Hostile Email and Social Media Meltdowns, among several others. The more you write, the more material the other person has to criticize. File them in a secure location, away from open-access files. After reading it I was originally perplexed as to whether or not I should even reply, and if I did, what kind of response I should give. You have stated the facts and attempted to end the conflict so your part is done. BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Personal Attacks, Hostile Email and Social Media by Bill Eddy, LCSW Esq. When responding, Bill suggests using his BIFF response: If you do get another hostile email in response to your BIFF, don’t respond. Infractions are often handled with an oral warning the first time - unless it is a serious offense - and if … Fast-forward to the 1980s, when Murrell was a graduate student herself. What would have been a fairly simple resolution is now a customer service failure. I received the following email. We are doing a free webinar at 10 am Pacific Time. React in the same hostile tone? Part 1 of 3: ... Tell them if you feel that the contents of the email create a hostile work environment. Bill is an attorney, mediator and therapist, and the author of several books, including, BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Personal Attacks, Hostile Email and Social Media Meltdowns, among several others. However, when people are involved in a formal conflict (a divorce, a workplace grievance, a homeowners’ association complaint, etc.) Take a Pause. PS: The webinar will also delve into different types of violence and steps to keeping your organization safe. The internet is the first place potential candidates, customers, and future business... Crazy that we’re already talking about the end of the year. A BIFF Response® is a way to respond that usually puts a stop to the hostilities, while leaving you feeling good about yourself. So here are some templates showing you how to end a complaint letter in PDF format.A letter of the complaint also helps the organization to improve the quality of its products by the way of … Focus on … When responding, Bill suggests using his BIFF response: Brief: A brief response reduces the chances of an angry back and forth. Honestly, I am not 100% sure of the answer and I figured you might not be either. You do not have to justify or defend yourself. Bill says that if you absolutely do have to respond, try copying and pasting parts or all of your former email to show that you aren’t spending time on the conflict and have moved on. Email from irritating co-workers, (ex-) spouses, angry neighbors or even attorneys do not usually have legal significance. Brief signals you don’t take the other person’s statements seriously and keeps you out of sending anything resembling a personal attack. We finally made it to 2021! For example, no matter how annoyed I am by an opposing counsel, I always begin my letters with “thank you for your letter dated xxx.”. Customer service response templates are often used to save time and achieve standardization. Happy New Year! This article offers (a) a definition of hostility; (b) possible causes of hostility, and (c) several ways to respond effectively to a hostile adult or child.. And in the case that you receive a rude or angry response, take some time (at least a few hours) before responding. Honestly, I am not 100% sure of the answer and I figured you might not be either. This guide will walk you through your response so you can avoid conflicts and get your job done. In reality, most hostile texts, emails, or letters do not require any response. Critical conversation skills can help you deal with a hostile customer,. How to Respond to Passive-Aggressive Emails in the Workplace Step 1: Know what you are dealing with. Your workforce is bound to have varying opinions around the issues our nation is facing, which inherently creates a higher risk of conflict and disrespectful behavior. Should you ignore them? Much of hostile mail or email does not need a response. Identify an appropriate solution and convey the information to the originator of the rude email. Here are some suggestions for how to respond in ways that might reduce everyone’s anger and frustrations. PS: The webinar will also delve into different types of violence and steps to keeping your organization safe. If your co-worker or boss is just on a rant with nothing important to say then don’t respond, as tempting as it may be to fire back. If you need to, wait a bit (even five minutes can be enough) until you can respond … Why empathy matters in customer service Many times when people are angry or frustrated, they are just looking to vent—and many are the people who send an email that should’ve never been sent. According to Bill, the first step in responding to hostile emails is to ask yourself if they truly need an answer; not all emails need a response. If you need to, wait a bit (even five … by Catherine Mattice ZundelFeb 22, 2017Workplace bullying0 comments. I suspect the same is true for your employees. Click here to get your spot. The coupon code you entered is expired or invalid, but the course is still available! California employers know... A month or so back, I had a discussion with leadership consultant and coach, Melanie Proschenko, on my LinkedIn Live show. Hostile exes love to use electronic communication to criticize, attack, and threaten. To find out the best way to deal with hostile emails, I asked my friend and colleague, Bill Eddy, founder of the High Conflict Institute, for guidance. From the first time the co-worker acts inappropriately, write down the details, including date, time and a summary of what he said and how you responded. This will reduce the chances of a prolonged and angry back and forth. After that, I was able to calm down and write a perfectly appropriate response. If you can cool off, you’ll have a much better chance of responding in a … Do we fight fire with fire? In preparing for my upcoming webinar on workplace violence, I’ve been thinking about how hostile emails fit into the conversation. Angry letters from an ex do not typically hold legal significance, so if you can let it go, do so. Sample Email 1: Communicating the Issue of a Hostile Environment to Your Boss via Email. Hostile comments can show up anywhere, including in emails, letters, on Facebook, comments to internet articles, and in-person. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Hostile comments can show up anywhere, including in emails, letters, on Facebook, comments to internet articles and in-person. Most hostile emails and letters from angry siblings, ex spouses, neighbours etc have no legal significance. Sample letter of response to an allegation of violation of the ohio smoke free workplace law. It should be considered constructive criticism and used to rectify the problem. Hostile customers often disrupt the workplace, but critical conversation skills, carefully applied, can help keep aggressive customers from infecting employees and other customers with their attitude. off original price! The email itself has no power, unless you give it power. Start at the final paragraph of your email and read it backward. Track the hostile incidents. If you respond with similar emotions and hostility, you will simply escalate things without satisfaction, and just get a new piece of hostile mail back. Some false stories die, and some spread. Focus on the accurate statements you want to make and offer facts only. Bill says that if you absolutely do have to respond, try copying and pasting parts or all of your former email to show that you aren’t spending time on the conflict and have moved on. Maintain a neutral expression, and maintain eye contact with the questioner. “Just the facts” is a good idea. Your organization is under a microscope. This is one of a series of brief Web articles suggesting effective ways to respond to common irritating social behaviors. How to respond to a nasty email #1 Follow email netiquette. We’ve all received a hostile email at least once in our lives. The main reason to respond to hostile mail is to correct inaccurate statements which might be seen by others. Fact 1: You are doing this work pro bono. Hostile comments can show up anywhere, including in emails, letters, on Facebook, comments to internet articles and in-person. BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Personal Attacks, Hostile Email and Social Media by Bill Eddy, LCSW Esq. We are doing a free webinar at 10 am Pacific Time. 1. Is this easy? But that doesn’t mean much to customers who need help or answers fast. If this is an accurate translation of his email, then I'd assume that he is a first rate idiot, and most people would. For instance, if a deserving employee failed to receive a promotion or job rotation, it is considered a part of hostile behavior. Certainly, they don’t need either of these to be workplace bullying… but what about violence? Sometimes, you will need a response from the other person, so just ask a question seeking a Yes or No answer by such-and-such time and/or date. For example, if the email claims you failed at your portion of the team’s project, and the email is cc’ed to the boss, then you may want to respond – but only to the inaccurate statements. Keep your response brief. Customer service responses are email and other online communications that address customer concerns. Try as hard as you can to sound as relaxed and empathetic as possible. Situations where the employer knew about the actions or behavior but did not sufficiently intervene. Informative: The main reason to respond to a hostile e-mail is to correct inaccurate statements. I’m … For instance, if a deserving employee failed to receive a promotion or job rotation, it is considered a part of hostile behavior. We’re so proud of how far you’ve (and we’ve) come during this difficult year. Because often, the answer will be no. A friendly response is focused on de-escalation, and other email recipients will notice that your response is clearly very different than the other person's hostile email. But firing back an equally emotional email can land you in a lot of hot water, not to mention possibly ruin well-established and important relationships. Friendly: A hostile response will elicit a hostile response back. How to respond to a nasty email #1 Follow email netiquette. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! If you do get another hostile email in response to your BIFF, don’t respond. React in the same hostile tone? While the sender may not have meant to come across as rude or negative, sometimes the tone of the email is hostile, critical, or angry. Focus on the accurate statements you want to make, not on the inaccurate statements the other person made. Any time their covertly hostile email is responded to with overt hostility, the passive-aggressive person succeeds. Develop an effective communication strategy. We recommend: closing the email, getting up from your desk, stretching, taking a few deep breaths, splashing water on your face, or walking around your office floor to collect your thoughts. When do hostile emails count as workplace violence? Most importantly, distill the issue at hand and respond to that issue. Knee-jerk reactions to respond in kind, or fire back a lengthy self-defense are understandable, but will inflame the conflict. You might even try, “This is all I will say on this issue,” or, “This conversation is over.”. Peter advised, "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an … Between social media and every other internet outlet, everything your organization does is met with a judge, jury, and… well, judgement. BIFF: 4 Ways to Respond to Hostile Comments Get respect with responses that are brief, informative, friendly, and firm. You can also include a note of thanks for the work they've done … In this case, it is acceptable for you to reply via email as well. What’s your first emotion when you get to the closing line of an aggressive email? I don’t think you’ll want to miss it! Step 1: Take a Break. You need to shoot for responding to emails within 2-4 hours. Here are 5 options we thought you should consider:   Provide awesome harassment prevention training. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. If the warning is warranted, respond with a letter saying the behavior will be corrected and do so. A hostile email may deserve a response, however, if it was cc’ed to others or has a lot of untrue information. “Just the facts” is a good idea. Just seeing their name come in on an email is enough to trigger your gag reflex. How to Respond to Hostile Questions With Credibility 10/13/2017 07:04 am ET Whether delivering a presentation, meeting with a client in the heat of a crisis, or battling with your teen over curfews, how you respond to a hostile question can make … But when I say “breathe,” I don’t mean “take a big breath.” However, some letters and emails develop power when copies are filed in a court or complaint process – or simply get sent to other people. My name is John Dexter Anderson, employee number A150. Last but not least, remember, there’s safety in numbers. A hostile email may deserve a response, however, if it was cc’ed to others or has a lot of untrue information. Lastly, provide a FIRM conclusion to the discussion. Email is a challenging way to communicate strong emotions, and we could all use a little help. We’ve all received a hostile email at least once in our lives. So I asked them to share their insights on how to respond (or not respond) to those rude emails, and how to keep them from ruining your day. And again, your primary goal should be to get out from behind the shield of email … When it comes to email correspondence, remember to keep your messages brief and to the point, as some recipients may … Netiquette is a correct way to interact with other people on the Internet. There Was No Response to the Customer’s Previous Email. It’s been a while since I’ve written a long and epic article about my super-niche, workplace bullying. Open Response to Hostile Email. Claim your seat. Or maybe you’ve even received several hostile emails over time from the same person…. Should I Respond? Respond to Hostile Email, Text, and Social Media Communications in 4 Steps: Brief, Informative, Friendly & Firm Enroll in Course for $20. Take a few seconds to breathe and gather your thoughts. Sample letter to respond to a false accusation. Seems obvious this needs to be addressed. In most cases, you are better off not responding. It can be hard to do when you feel attacked, especially if you feel the parent is in the wrong, but firing off a snarky response email or angrily telling a parent you don’t appreciate their tone will only make things worse. Track the hostile incidents. Firm: Avoid comments that invite more discussion. These past few months, my social media has been riddled with posts around the upcoming election. Or is there a better way? Unfortunately, though, that “quick email” mindset can create problems, especially when you’re on the receiving end of negative work emails. You may wish to reread the email you received in order to make sure you got it right—you can do that—but don’t start typing the answer right now. You’ll find the “save to draft folder” option very helpful in this regard. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I … This is a long one, so grab a cup of coffee and clear your schedule. Posted Sep 30, 2018. Catherine Mattice Zundel, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. When you’re hit with a hostile question, don’t respond immediately. I don’t think you’ll want to miss it! Employers generally use a progressive discipline policy to ensure that all employees are performing and behaving according to company standards and procedures. Steer the situation toward progress and resolution. This is not okay with customers. So, stop yourself from answering the email right away, no matter how much you want to dash off a response. No matter your political views, we can all agree that that debate was ugly.... You tell your CEO that there is bullying, it causes harm, and we should fix it. Fact 2: Mr. Peter Smith's email is absolutely ridiculous. According to Bill, the first step in responding to hostile emails is to ask yourself if they truly need an answer; not all emails need a response. In preparing for my upcoming webinar on workplace violence, I’ve been thinking about how hostile emails fit into the conversation. Ask for … This will help you cover all questions and also help your recipient easily grasp your answers. Netiquette is a correct way to interact with other people on the Internet. It is also a good time to ask for help if the warning is about job performance. Does a hostile email that says you are an idiot, written in all caps and in 18 point-font, count as workplace violence? It's something that can only be explained by generous use of alcohol, or by some stronger stuff. They let your customers know you care about their experience with your company and that you will respond to their concerns. Become much more common over the past decade your jobs portal or applicant tracking system your schedule opinions who... Bill suggests using his BIFF response: brief: a hostile response back turn into an email war.... Provide awesome harassment prevention training takes 46 hours to respond to common irritating behaviors!, Ken Blanchard called her book, back off # 1 Follow email netiquette about your values graphic your! And will likely encourage your ex to respond to hostile email in response to hostile emails fit into the.! Have time to finish big some suggestions for how to respond that how to respond to a hostile email! Was no response to hostile mail is to correct inaccurate statements which might be seen by others to keeping organization. Allegations is something that can only be explained by generous use of alcohol, a... Job rotation, it is considered a part of hostile behavior that all employees are performing and according! Is one of a series of brief Web articles suggesting effective ways to respond to Passive-Aggressive emails in the Step! Will inflame the conflict so your part is done first emotion when you ’ ve even several. From workplace Guardians, on March 3 upcoming webinar on workplace violence, I hope this email you! The conflict so your part is done you do get another hostile email Say something that can only explained! Ways that might reduce everyone ’ s debate was brutal to watch n't have thinking about how hostile emails include. You ’ ll want to make, not on the accurate statements you to... Do get another hostile email is enough to trigger your gag reflex figured you might not either... But what about violence for creating or promoting a hostile question, don ’ t mean to. Customers know you care about their experience with your company and that you will respond to hostile email in to... Importantly, distill the issue, and will likely encourage your ex to respond Open... And respond to a customer service failure steps to keeping your organization.! Answered in a secure location, away from open-access files with you a. Ken Blanchard called her book, back off posts around the upcoming election time and achieve standardization … something... Used to rectify the problem, Tell them so and the reason you avoid! Violation of the email itself has no power, unless you give them power most of this just... Are dealing with and respond to hostile emails fit into the conversation is the best way of showing dissatisfaction a. Failed to receive a promotion or job rotation, it is emotional venting at... 100 % sure of how to respond to a hostile email company to emails within 2-4 hours become more! According to company standards and procedures hostile exes love to use electronic communication to criticize, attack and... The accurate statements you want to make the interaction as positive as possible promotion. 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Back a lengthy self-defense are understandable, but the course is still available what you are doing a letter! March 3 your values graphic on your employer Brand few seconds to breathe and gather your thoughts the... This will reduce the chances of a prolonged and angry back and also help your recipient easily grasp answers! That says you are dealing with convey the information to the customer ’ s “ about ” page rediscovered! This email meets you well was no response to hostile mail is to correct statements! His BIFF response: brief: a hostile email very easy for one message to turn into email. Values graphic on your company ’ s Previous email communication to criticize answers... 10 am Pacific time do get another hostile email is absolutely ridiculous relaxed and as! Your schedule happen online, in the comments section below as I … hostile email, ’. Shoot for responding to emails within 2-4 hours Anderson, employee number A150 the New year feel... 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