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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Coppola

Dealing with difficult people: phone vs email communication.

Dealing with difficult people - should you call the person to discuss your concerns, or send them an email and continue to reply accordingly?

When we are in the heat of the moment, we tend to act irrationally and we don't think before we write up that irate email to a colleague who has really upset us.

Once the email is sent, it's sent.

Then, you wait for their reply, and the anger can just build up from there.

When dealing with difficult people, the question is, am I better off phoning them to discuss my concerns or send an email expressing my concerns and frustrations?

When you call someone, you can hear their tone of voice, feel the conversation better and respond in kind. You're able to listen to what the person has to say. You can comment, pause and reflect on what they say.

However, when you email someone, you cannot listen to their voice or tone that they are using in their head as they write their email to you. You don't know how they are feeling, what's going on from their end, either in their personal life or work life. You just don't know.

And sometimes it's best not to know. You don't want to make things personal. But at the same time, you don't want to flair up the situation and make the situation bigger then what it has to be.

Whether you decide to call to discuss your concerns with a colleague, is up to you.

But, if you decide to reply to their email, may I strongly suggest that you think clearly about what you are going to say. Also, don't feel you need to reply in a heartbeat. Take the time to think about how you are going to respond, if you do decide to.



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