The emails and the more recent devils – WhatsApp and Twitter has set within us some sort of timer, which starts ticking the moment we see an email dropped in our inbox or message on our Twitter feed or Whatsapp timelines. We get into some kind of urgency to reply to the message and without thinking enough we reply!!! 99% of times we do no harm; we are mostly correct and achieve our objective. It is the 1% that does most damage when we reply without thinking our response for a moment.
The classic and quite old example of our behavior is responding by hitting ‘Reply All’. I have done it myself and have been through shit loads of embarrassment. Most of us have made this mistake of hitting ‘reply all’ on a private email or sending an insensitive message to the wrong person. It could be your internal colleague or a client, who have emailed something that you didn’t appreciate and you just wanted to hit out at him/her but not publicly.
However, after the panic sets in, you need to own the mistake. Approach the offended person quickly and apologize sincerely, that too in person and not over a phone or an email – you may not want to risk getting it wrong again via email.
As awful as it may feel to apologize, recognize that you may have done real damage. You might need to take additional steps to show that you actually care about the issue and you are taking it seriously.
Inspired from an HBR blog