A. Write it down, Read it, Edit it, Read it again the next day, Edit again and again, and Proofread
I decided that I would send an email to my manager about the situation. In the email, in great detail, I honestly expressed my concerns.
However, I didn’t send it right away. Instead, I had people proofread the email and ask for their opinions. The reason I didn’t send the email initially was that I wrote the email when I was in a bad mood. Therefore, the language that I used in the original email might be too aggressive and arrogant, which of course would aggravate the situation.
The next day, I had my friend come over to read it. We discussed and realized that we needed to confirm whether or not the rumors spread about me was exactly what the ‘C’ person had said. We researched by tracking back to where the story first started. Once again, I couldn’t write an email accusing of someone without any pieces of evidence and proof.
B. Confirm the Information
When the ‘A’ and I had a conversation, I thought the ‘A’ heard “XYZ” from the ‘C’; however, when I confirmed with the ‘A’ the day after, it turned out the A heard ‘XYZ” from the ‘B’, not from the ‘C’. Therefore, now, we had to ask the B to confirm.
I emailed the ‘B’; however, the B was on vacation and didn’t want talk about that in the email, and wanted to set up a coffee date with me instead. Whereas I needed to get that out of my head as soon as possible to do other things. The ‘B’s email and my lack of patience made me wonder more why she didn’t want to talk about that via email. If what the ‘C’ said didn’t mean to gossip and undermine me, why didn’t she say that in the email? Easy peasy. And writing even made things easier than talking in person. It was my assumption. And once again, I couldn’t assume anything based on my “logical” thinking without talking with them.
C. What should be the best way to get the crisis done?
Have you seen how complicatedly a crisis could progress? This is what the crisis communication would be when you started digging deeply to understand the roots of problems.
So now I couldn’t wait until the ‘B’ person came back from the vacation and talked about it. The longer the issue lasted, the longer I would be in a bad mood, the longer my relationship with the ‘C’ person would be in jeopardy, and the lower chance I would get promoted.
I realized email was not a smart way to ask if the ‘C’ person said XYZ because of course, the C would deny right away. Moreover, one of the biggest drawbacks of writing email was that I didn’t see the C person’s feelings, emotions, and reactions. Eventually, I came to a decision that I would come and talk with the C in person.
D. What am I going to talk with the C person?
It was such a coincidence that the ‘C’ person emailed and wanted to have a conversation with me to clear up misunderstandings and miscommunications between us. That’s great. I guessed the ‘A’ person talked with him/her about what the ‘A’ heard.
I was still not under the control and had a butterfly in my stomach. The feelings were very strong and I had a premonition of something not good happening.
My friend saw me walking back and forth in the office, and had to help me calm down. I showed her the email I wrote and told her it was what I would tell her. She said, “it was great to speak up for yourself; however, you need to know what you want to get out of the meeting. ” What she said honestly was very true.
We discussed and drew out two main things I needed to get out of the conversation:
- Clear up our misunderstandings and miscommunications
- Get promoted
E. Come to the meeting
I took a deep breath, raised my head, came early and walked into the room with confidence.
Since I wrote and edited the email for a few times, I already knew what I was going to say and how I was going to deliver points effectively. My thoughts were well organized.
I let the C person speak first because I wanted to hear from him/her in person. S/he said that s/he didn’t say that and s/he would talk to the ‘B’ to confirm.
The meeting went well and I told that person what I needed to say. That friendly conversation did not only clear up our misunderstandings but also gave me the opportunity to show him/her my well-cable ability and that I was well deserved for the promotion.
I walked out the room with peace and … the promotion.