Watch your tone little lady. Try asking again mister, only this time a little nicer. I’ll be happy to speak with you when you can talk to me in a respectful manner. Do you hear yourself?
Chances are if you are a parent you’ve uttered the above words to your child – whether to a mouthy three year old or a too cool for rules teenager. I’ve said it myself. I have some great children, who don’t behave badly, but I have said on more than one occasion “˜that mouth is going to get you in trouble’.
The same thing is true in business. The tone you take when speaking to people will go a long way in determining the results you get in return. You can say the exact same thing, but depending on how you present your question or statement, you’re either going to get cooperation or you’re going to piss someone off. You must be extra vigilant when using email to communicate as we tend to misinterpret or add unnecessary or incorrect tone to words on paper or a computer monitor.
As an upline director of a direct selling organization it never ceases to amaze me some of the rude emails I receive from downline members. I know these concerns can and do work both ways, among up and downline members. Specifically, in this case I am referring to downline team members who need help but ask in such a disrespectful, entitlement approach.
For example, it doesn’t take a nuclear physicist to figure this one out but which email do you think would get the better response?
- Hi, I need your help please. I think my pay is wrong, or perhaps I don’t understand it. I looked in the manual but couldn’t find anything to help clarify. Can you take a look or let me know where to find the information or who to contact? Thanks. Or:
- I’m sick of this, my check is wrong again.
Here are two more:
- The company never told me I am getting terminated. This is ridiculous. I put an order in five months ago. If they want to fire me, fine. Or:
- Thanks for your message that I am about to be purged. I wasn’t aware I needed to place another order. Didn’t my order from last month count? Is there some way I can track this myself so I know when I am getting close to terminating. I don’t want to leave. Thanks.
Those may seem a bit extreme – but they are real examples and somewhat common for what I get in my inbox. Fortunately the good ones far outweigh these types of messages, but none the less, some consultants do fire off messages like these above and expect favorable results.
There is an epidemic of people who think they should be able to speak to others in any manner they choose. If you know me at all, I am all for direct, to the point, no fluff conversation. But there is a huge difference in brevity and rudeness.
Do yourself a favor and pause for a moment to take inventory of two areas in your own communication.
- If you are one who reads short responses and tends to assign emotions – oh she must be mad at me, or what is her problem – all she said was “yes, that is correct“ – stop doing that. Take the words at face value and don’t try to interpret the sender’s attitude. It’s usually incorrect anyway.
- Before you speak or fire off an email re-read it to see how it will be received on the other end. If you are upset or think you have been wronged, you have every right to be made whole, but before you go barking, see if you can’t rephrase your concern in a manner that would make any upline want to do everything within his/her power to correct or clarify the situation.
Remember, you get more with honey than with vinegar. So stay sweet!
About the Author: Laurie Ayers is a WAHM from Michigan and a Superstar Director with Scentsy Wickless Candles. She enjoys helping others start and maintain a candle business in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Deutschland and the UK. You can find Laurie at https://la.Scentsy.us or https://www.ThrivingCandleBusiness.com