In today’s world, digital communication skills are critical. It doesn’t matter what age you are or what profession you’re in—you need to be able to use technology to communicate effectively. However, even millennials who grew up with technology at their fingertips struggle with developing this skill. This is especially the case when we must figure out how to write an angry email professionally.
We all know digital communication’s most significant difficulty is properly conveying tone. That’s why sharing negative feelings with someone through email is difficult—you want to do it the right way. You don’t want to sound too mean, but you also want to clarify that you are frustrated. And you know that sugar-coating the problem may only allow it to persist.
So how do you write an angry email professionally?
When you need to send an angry email (or frustrated, irritated, or generally not pleasant) in a professional setting, go through these steps first.
Think About It First
The first advice is only to send an angry work email if you have to. Most of the time, an angry email is not a good idea in the workplace. You could damage essential relationships and stop you from reaching your career goals.
If at all possible, have this conversation in person. Although it might be more difficult in some ways, it will be easier in other ways. Face-to-face conversations erase the potential for your tone to be misunderstood and allow for a more accessible, in-depth discussion.
When preparing for a meaningful conversation, brush up on your
However, we know that those in-person conversations are not always possible. Today, many companies operate solely on a virtual basis. Email communication is essential, if not necessary.
Take Time to Calm Down
Before you start typing that angry email, take some time to cool off. You don’t want to say anything you’ll regret in this email—because once it’s out there, it’s permanent!
Some suggest writing a draft of the email while you’re still angry to get your feelings out. However, please don’t send it until you’ve had that cool-off period. I feel that writing angry words makes me even more upset. So instead, I take some time to process the situation and calm down first, then sit down to write later.
If you take the time to calm down, you might find that you’re not angry after all, and then you will write an entirely different email. On the other hand, if you find you are still upset after doing a relaxing activity, then that is the time to sit down to begin writing the angry email.
Clearly State the Intent of Your Email
Now it’s time to start writing this angry email. Start with a friendly greeting, then outline why the email is being sent. State the issue concisely. If you try dressing up the language or skirt around the case, your message might not get through. You don’t want the recipient to be confused about the intent of the email.
For example, say an employee at work made a big mistake on a project. In the email, clearly state what that mistake was. Then say that you are emailing to discuss why what was done is incorrect and explain what should have been done instead. Not only will this erase any potential confusion, but it also turns this angry email into a constructive one.
Keep it, well, Professional.
Don’t be entirely fueled by your anger. Stick to stating objective facts about the situation, not just your opinion of the person. Though you may feel upset with them personally, you don’t want this to become a personal attack. Doing this will accomplish a couple of essential things: it will make your tone easier to understand and make the recipient more open to reading the email and accepting your feedback.
Let’s continue our example. If an employee makes a significant mistake, stick to criticizing their mistake, not them as a person. For instance, you should say, “The work produced was not up to our standards because…” instead of “You failed to produce work that meets our standards.”
This might be hard to do all the time, but at least make an effort. It will have a positive impact on the way the recipient reads your email. Hopefully, thanks to your actions, the recipient will be more motivated to fix the problem and do better next time rather than be frustrated with the situation.
Include Some Positive Reinforcement
Avoid beating up on the recipient. In addition to discussing why you are frustrated, point out something good that the recipient did. It’s doubtful that every single thing they did was incorrect. For example, compliment their work ethic or teamwork. Any positive reinforcement will be greatly appreciated. It will also help you in the future because the recipient will know what to repeat next time they are given a task.
Offer Possible Solutions
Make this angry email a constructive one by offering solutions to the problem created. Give the recipient a chance to fix their mistake instead of taking over and doing damage control yourself. Maybe you could also allow them to come up with some possible solutions on their own. This is the only way they will improve in their job! Offering a second chance turns this dire situation into an opportunity to learn.
Open the Lines of Communication
Offer to meet in person to discuss the issue, if possible. If not, you can propose to talk on the phone or via video call. No matter how difficult, the recipient must know they can speak with you about this situation. You can hear their side of the story and let them explain why they made a mistake, then discuss those possible solutions. Opening the lines of communication will make you a good leader and give them a chance to prove that they are great too.
Sign Off with a Kind Message
Don’t leave a bitter taste in the recipient’s mouth by ending the email on a sour note. The point of this email is to enact change. The recipient shouldn’t feel beaten down if you want that to happen. Instead, they should feel motivated to rectify the situation.
Check Your Grammar
Nothing is worse than firing an angry email only to realize you made typos. Ugh! You know that these mistakes will diminish everything you said in the email.
If you have Grammarly, you can avoid this frustration. Grammarly is a tool you can download onto your browser that offers grammar, spelling, and style suggestions to your writing, no matter where you’re typing online. So if you’re writing an email, you can use Grammarly to perfect your message before clicking send. If you want someone to write an original email for you, you can get your papers written by professional essay writers available 24/7 online.
If you follow all these steps, you will avoid the awkward—and potentially damaging—situation of sending an overly angry email. Taking some time to calm down and consider how to best share feedback with the other person. You won’t harm the relationship when you go through the process of writing and sending this email with a rational mindset.