February 25, 2012

Handling Blaming Emails

Theses days we communicate a lot using email - both at home and at office. At times you may get emails which blame or point fingers at you. It might hint at something or explicitly blame you for something that has gone wrong.

So how does one handle such emails? Here are some thoughts:
  • Send a terse "*******" or "*******" message 
  • Send a terse though polite "get lost" or "go to hell" or "not my problem" message 
  • Send a response reversing the blame or finger pointing back to the sender
  • Send a response transferring the blame or finger pointing to someone else without copying that person
  • Send a response transferring the blame or finger pointing to someone else while copying that person
  • Sit on the email forever, ignore and don't respond at all, never
  • Sit on the email for a while, analyze the situation and send a measured response to neutralize the blame
  • Don't accept or deny the blame, agree to the concern raised in the email and send a response you will analyze and suitably take care of the sender's concern
  • Accept the blame if that's really the case and send a response you will take care of the sender's concern
  • If the blaming or finger-pointing is motivated and not factually correct call the person first and get her concurrence and then send a response starting with "As discussed..."
Have your pick. Depending on the case, going with the appropriate choice out of the last two is generally a good idea. And if you know for sure that the blame is rightfully yours to take going ahead with the second last one is not a bad idea either. Of course sometimes you need to be a little diplomatic - so start with the third last and then go to the second last.

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