Saturday, 8 August 2015

Flaming Emails

Emails have now become an integral part of our work. With globalization, virtual teams,  distributed delivery models, emails have become a very important instrument for communication and working together.  

Emails aid us in our work,  but sometimes , it also becomes a hindrance . It is a known fact that there is no replacement of body language and so nowadays , video conferencing is becoming popular. But due to the ease and cost effectiveness, emails are and will always remain the main tool for communication .

In my career, I have burnt my fingers several times while using emails

It is a natural tendency to reply or rather retort to emails that hurt you. My dear readers, I caution you, even though the urge will be irresistible, refrain from instant reply to flaming emails. 

Sleep over it. Calm down . And reply after 24 hours. 

  • Flaming is a virtual term for venting or sending inflammatory messages in email. 
  • Avoid flaming because it tends to create a great deal of conflict that spirals out of control.
  • What you say cannot be taken back; it is in black and white
  • Before you send an email message, ask yourself, “would I say this to this person’s face?”
  • Calm down before responding to a message that offends you.  Once you send the message it is gone.
  • Read your message twice before you send it and assume that you may be misinterpreted when proofreading.
  • There are times when you may need to blow off some steam.
              Here’s a way to flame: Flame On,  Your message , Flame Off

  • Remember your audience and your situation before sending the email.
  • Understand the purpose of the email.  After you calm down from the shock of the email, spend a moment thinking about the actual reason the email was sent. Some people send hate mail to flex their muscles and just feel important. Such emails should be absolutely ignored. 

How should you respond to a flaming email ? Here are some tips :
  • Empathize with the sender’s frustration and tell them they are right if that is true
  • If you feel you are right, thank them for bringing the matter to your attention
  • Explain what led to the problem in question
  • Avoid getting bogged down by details and minor arguments
  • If you are aware that the situation is in the process of being resolved let the reader know at the top of the response
  • Apologize if necessary -  humility wins hearts and minds.

Any more tips  ? Do reply in the comments


  1. Rightly said. But it requires lot of patience and self-discipline.

  2. In my opinion, if you still feel the same way after an hour, you should express your feelings. If not, there's no harm in apologizing if your ego can stand it!

  3. I always seen that responding to such kind of mails always raises the conflicts, never got the resolutions. Thanks a lot for this blog. Really appreciative.