What I always make a point of doing when I don’t understand something or if something seems wrong, incorrect, a problem or “broken” is to double-check that my actions or lack of knowledge is not leading to that incorrect perception. One thing I do not do is whip off emails making demands or accusations especially in areas I simply have no experience or knowledge about.
Unfortunately, this methodology seems to make me a rare commodity.
Almost daily, I get e-mails where folks are making demands. They don’t appreciate my point of view a want me to change my site. Or they claim something is “wrong” that I need to fix. Others assume intent or meaning that just isn’t there.
Humility is a Virtue
I know I do not know everything. As a matter of fact I am all too aware of how much I don’t know! I know there are things out there that I can learn about — and do almost every day.
Never would I think to email an expert in their field and tell them they are wrong. Particularly when I do not have one iota of the experience or knowledge they do!
What surprises me is how many onliners think they know it all. Enough to point fingers, make accusations and come to wrong assumptions without thinking for a moment that the issue at hand could be due to their lack of knowledge, information or an incorrect perception.
How very bold we are when safely hiding behind these screens….
Just this week I received a nasty and accusatory email about an issue the Sender perceived incorrectly. They claimed that something I wrote was incorrect and that I needed to correct this “ASAP!!”. Turns out they didn’t read the full article in question. If they had done so they would have discovered their complaint was moot.
Of course I made my rebuttal in a kind and informative manner. Situations such as this are a teachable moment for me and I never meet their rudeness with the same. Kill them with kindness as the saying goes.
Most folks reply with gratitude and an apology. This latest individual did not. Crickets.
Why are we nasty and accusatory right out the gate? How about a nice “I was wondering if you could help me understand why…” to find out what one doesn’t know before assuming?
Instead these some decide to send rude emails making claims that simply are not accurate. Their communications clearly reflecting their ignorance about the issue at hand.
The Moral of The Story Is
If you think something is amiss — simply email with courtesy first. Start with a nice and humble inquiry about what you perceive is happening placing no blame nor making any accusations. This approach will increase your chances of receiving an informative response.
You may just find you were not only incorrect with your perception, but you will save face and probably learn something new in the process. Win-win.