Saved by Dirty Dozen Rule #1

Email Etiquette Dirty Dozen Rule #1, “Don’t give bad news over email. Email is for saying, ‘Yes,’ ‘No,’ and ‘Maybe,’” recently saved one of my relationships, gave me the opportunity to learn some valuable lessons, and jettisoned the success of a video production for which I am responsible.

Here’s the skinny. I decided to let one of my contractors go. I did not like working with him. I felt that he lacked communication, collaboration and consideration. Letting go of someone is so stressful. I didn’t want to deal with it and was tempted to cop out and send him a termination email with a list of complaints, but then… I remembered Rule #1.

So I emailed this individual only to ask for a face-to-face meeting.

We met. I learned a lot. I realized that I had told him what I did not like about the way things were going, but never clearly delineated my expectations. My bad.

So I spelled out what I needed from him in order to keep him on board. The confusion cleared. He agreed to my terms. In fact, he seemed relieved to have things laid out with no gray areas.

I didn’t fire him. Now, I really like working with him. I will use him in the future, as well as recommend him to my colleagues.

Rule #1 saved this relationship. Putting it into practice increased my emotional capacity for meaningful and difficult dialog. I learned the importance of conveying my expectations with a positive orientation. I got in touch with my innerCEO.

The best part is that Rule #1 helped my contractor learn and be more professional, too, as well as keep those referrals coming in.

Jennifer Gordon, Cool Breeze Marketing

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