You’ll be doing a lot of communicating by email—which is both convenient and dangerous. No longer can you rush down the hall to undo the damage or check the look on your e-correspondent’s face.
One thing everyone wants, but no one has invented, is an email “panic button,” a short delay after hitting
send, like the kind TV networks use to bleep obscenities. —David Shi pley and Will Schwalbe, authors of Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home, quoted in “Check your e-mail—before you hit send,” by Bob Minzesheimer USA TODAY, April 10, 2007.
Read every email you write at least twice, with a half hour in between if the subject is even remotely touchy.
And if you receive an email that sounds brusque or offensive, don’t assume the worst. Plenty of people haven’t yet mastered the art of email diplomacy. Instead of writing back in the same tone, pick up the phone and call, or arrange
a meeting for the next time you’re going to be in the office.