This Is How You #Follow Up After You Send a #Rude #Email (#Template Included!)

We’ve all been on the receiving end of those emails that literally inspire smoke to start billowing out of our ears.

One minute, you’re totally calm, cool, and collected. But, when your inbox dings? That one seemingly innocent message pushes you right over the edge.

Before you know it, you’ve fired off a brutal and curt response that says something like, “Seriously, Janet, how many times do I have to tell you to swap out the number in the top corner of the spreadsheet?! This is getting RIDICULOUS.”

Cringe, right? Typically, you’re wise enough to take a pause and collect yourself before responding. But, today? Well, Janet and her spreadsheet incompetence got the best of you—and you replied before you had a chance to rein in your own short fuse.

You know that your email was rude, and perhaps a bit more aggressive than the conversation called for. So, how can you backpedal out of this situation—without garnering a reputation as the co-worker who’s going to lose his cool at a moment’s notice?

Well, start by replying (as soon as possible!) to that same email with a message that looks a lot like this one.

rude email

Hey [Name],

I want to apologize for the email I sent you earlier.

It’s no excuse, but it’s been one of those days when [reason you had such a short fuse]. I snapped at you when I had absolutely no reason to, and I’m so sorry for my [adjective] message.

The next time [description of circumstances that made you snap], I’ll make sure to take a pause before responding—so I don’t take my own frustrations out on you.

Sorry once again!

[Your Name]

rude email

In our example of that pesky Janet and her perceived inability to fill out that routine spreadsheet correctly, here’s what a follow-up email would look like with the necessary details filled in.

rude email

Hey Janet,

I want to apologize for the email I sent you earlier.

It’s no excuse, but it’s been one of those days when everything is piling up. I snapped at you when I had absolutely no reason to, and I’m sorry for my insensitive message.

The next time my to-do list starts to get the better of me, I’ll make sure to take a pause before responding—so I don’t take my own frustrations out on you.

Sorry once again!


rude email

 Here’s an important thing to note: While you can and should provide a brief explanation for why your response was rude, keep that fairly general and resist the urge to rattle off a bunch of excuses.

The recipient of your overly angry message probably won’t care about the fact that you stubbed your toe that morning, you have bad indigestion, and your car wouldn’t start on the way to your client lunch—he or she just wants to know that you’re aware of your insensitivity and are willing to be accountable for your own actions.

Unfortunately, there’s no way for you to take that bad-mannered email of yours back (that’d be nice though, wouldn’t it?). But, immediately following up with an apologetic email should help to smooth things over and undo some of that damage you caused with your far-too-rapid response time.


#Google Automatically Rejects Most #Resumes for Common #Mistakes You’ve Probably Made Too

Former HR chief Laszlo Bock says Google gets 50,000 resumes a week. This is how it eliminates many of them.

Want to get hired at Google (or any other desirable employer)? Chances are, you won’t, because your resume is getting in your way. Not because you didn’t phrase things just right, or you failed to do something that would make you stand out from the crowd. Not even because it isn’t well written. It’s because of some extremely simple and unbelievably common mistakes that the majority of job applicants make.

That’s according to a LinkedIn post by Laszlo Bock, co-founder of Humu, a startup that promises to use machine learning to help make employees happier and more productive. Before starting Humu, Bock was senior vice president of people operations at Google, where he was when he wrote the post in 2014. But nothing Bock wrote has changed since then, and the post is currently growing in popularity and getting passed around, likely because it’s just as true now as it was then.

Bock writes that he’s reviewed more than 20,000 resumes and that Google routinely receives 50,000 resumes a week. With that level of influx there has to be some quick way to eliminate large numbers of contenders and so Google automatically bounces all resumes that make one of five simple mistakes–even though that often means eliminating highly qualified job applicants from consideration.

You can find the full list here. These are the most common errors.

1. Typos

Who would be stupid enough to send in a resume with typos in it? A lot of people, it turns out. Bock references one survey that showed 58 percent of resumes have typos in them.

How can people be so careless? Actually, it’s the opposite–an excess of carefulness–that’s the problem, Bock explains. “People who tweak their resumes the most carefully can be especially vulnerable to this kind of error, because they often result from going back again and again to fine-tune your resume just one last time.”

Do this a few times and inevitably, a word will drop out or a period will get repeated. Because you’ve read the thing so many times you practically have it memorized, your eyes will skim over the document and your brain will not notice the errors. The only really good solution is to have someone proofread your resume for you.

2. Sharing confidential information

As an employee, you have access to information your employer doesn’t want you to share. But sometimes it’s very tempting because that information could really impress your next prospective employer. So, Bock writes, some people try to get around confidentiality rules by sharing information without actually spelling it out–for instance: “Consulted to a major software company in Redmond, Washington.”

Bock writes that 5 to 10 percent of the resumes received at Google share information that should be confidential, and it’s cause for automatic rejection. That kind of thing “tells me, as an employer, that I should never hire those candidates … unless I want my own trade secrets emailed to my competitors,” he notes.

3. Untruthfulness

Lying on resumes is very, very common. So much so that 26 percent of people under 40 admit to doing it, and 85 percent of hiring managers say they’ve found lies on resumes that they’ve received. And it can be seen very harshly. Bock’s definition of lying covers a lot of things that many would consider “fudging,” such as claiming you have a degree when you were actually three credits shy of completing it.

He says lying even a little on a resume is a very dumb thing to do because with internet research, nearly everything you claim can be verified. And–precisely because it is so very common to bend the truth–if your resume is perfectly accurate, that in itself will make you stand out from the competition.

#Data #scientists get most #salary #hikes in #startups

Data scientists and front-end developers were the roles that received the maximum compensation increases in startups in 2017. Both received an average salary increase of about 25% last year, compared to the year before, according to data shared by recruitment firm Belong.

Data scientists are responsible for using computing systems to collect, analyse and interpret large amounts of information to identify ways to help a business improve operations and gain a competitive edge over rivals. They require a knowledge of mathematics, computer science and the ability to spot trends. The Belong study, which looked at the top 40 startups and at those with three to five years of experience, said the annual salary of data scientists rose to Rs 25-29 lakh last year.

“With the boom in AI (artificial intelligence), a lot of companies are building out huge data analysis teams,” said Rishabh Kaul, co-founder at Belong.

Front-end developers are the bridge between the user experience (UX)/user interface (UI) designer and the backend programmer, bringing to life the designer’s final design and ensuring it works with back-end systems through appropriate coding. They are responsible for everything a visitor to a site sees, clicks, or uses to input or retrieve information, and need to be both creative and tech-savvy.

Front-end developers now earn Rs 18 lakh to Rs 22 lakh per annum. In 2014, they were earning Rs 10-13 lakh. Kaul said a major reason for this is the rise of cloud infrastructure by companies like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. This is prompting every company to strengthen the front-ends of their web and mobile apps. In 2013 and 2014, cloud infrastructure was still developing. “Now the job description of a front-end developer has also changed dramatically.They take care of everything from managing the website to ensuring the company is protected against hacks,” Kaul said.

Mobile developers and UX designers are also among those who received 15-20% increases in compensation last year. A UX designer is the highest paid role in technology startups, with such employees taking home Rs 28 lakh to Rs 32 lakh per annum. Startups are trying to contain these UX designer costs by employing freelancers, who work for multiple companies.

Product managers — who are responsible for the strategy, road map, and feature definition of a product — saw a 20% increase in compensation to about Rs 24 lakh in 2017. Python developers have seen a 20% compounded annual growth rate in compensation since 2014, and last year earned around Rs 20 lakh per annum.

Roles in cyber security, including security architect and chief information security officers, also received handsome increases.

Kaul said many of these highly compensated employees are self-trained. The average tenure of a data scientist in a company is just two years. “Every time they move to a new job, they get a hike,” Kaul said, explaining why compensations are rising so rapidly.

A #Neglected But #Essential #Leadership #Trait — Why #Self-#Control Really Matters

Boiled down to its essence, self-control is the ability to think before acting. Self-control, or discipline, is an essential character trait that every leader with heavy responsibilities must have. Nevertheless, self-control rarely shows up on any list of the essential traits that make a good leader (with the notable exception of Daniel Goleman’s work on emotional intelligence). Vision, passion, communication skills, decisiveness, confidence, clarity, even empathy all pop up regularly on these popular lists, but not self-control. The explanation for the neglect of self-control and discipline? Consideration of leadership qualities tends to look at behavior and results rather than character or fundamental psychological capacities.

While the corporate world tends to ignore self-control, professional investors study and value it. Seasoned investors know they are prone to mistakes in judgment when emotion overrides rational decision-making. They also know this can and will happen to all of them. They remain vigilant and search for ways to prevent emotion-driven mistakes including “jumping on the bandwagon,” reacting out of fear or excessive caution or being unduly influenced by greed or envy. I am a fan of the television series Billions, which in one way can be seen as one long meditation on self-control. For both of the show’s protagonists, Bobby Axelrod and Chuck Rhoades, self-control is their greatest asset. And losing control leads to their ultimate undoing.

The second place that great attention is paid to self-control as a leadership capacity is in the admirable leadership model described in detail in the Army Field Manual on Leader Development. The Army (which prefers the term discipline to talk about self-control) usefully lays out observable signs that self-control is deficient:

  • Difficulty adapting (emotionally or cognitively) to unforeseen problems, bad news, or conflicting information.
  • Reacting viscerally or angrily when receiving bad news.
  • Offering the first response that comes to mind.
  • Emotional outbursts.

Conversely, a leader who shows strength in the dimension of self-control displays composure and confidence, staying task-focused in a stressful situation.

Ron Chernow’s biography, Grant, is a fascinating study of one exceptional man’s life-long struggle with self-control. In early adulthood, Grant’s lack of discipline—most notably binge-drinking, but also an inability to apply himself in work situations that didn’t interest him— led him to the edge of self-destruction on many occasions.  However, as an astonishingly successful general in his early ‘40s, while in the throes of battle with tens of thousands of lives and the fate of the nation at stake, he displayed a preternatural calm, confidence and utter composure that astonished observers.

It’s a false dichotomy to think of humans as being either emotional or rational. In fact, we’re both and more at all times.  Think about it as a regulatory system.  Fears, desires, impulses, needs, wishes, convictions and values are constantly pushing upward within us.  These are necessary to create a sense of meaning and fuel motivation and action.  After all, why do anything if we don’t feel anything about it?

Meanwhile, a host of other emotions crop up in reaction to our decisions and activities—anxiety about failure or exposure, pride, longing for affirmation, impatience and many others—bombarding us further as we try to make a decision or take an action.  This noise from the emotional parts of our brain has pressure behind it and will lead to impulsive action if not regulated.

A bunch of higher mental functions that psychologists call “executive functions” —self-control being a fundamental one—are responsible for preventing chaos in the face of this pressure.  These allow us to wait to make a decision rather than acting on our first impulse. To see the potential consequences of actions.  To bargain with ourselves, offering greater rewards if gratification of wishes is delayed.

Interesting research by a team of social psychologists led by Roy F. Baumeister suggests that self-control is a limited resource.  If we spend too much of it in one place, we won’t have any reserves left to use in another arena.

Diminished self-control does not always show itself dramatically, in an angry outburst or major meltdown.  Subtle upticks in a sense of vulnerability or irritability can also be signs that this resource is depleted.

Like any basic human trait or capacity, some of us innately have a harder time controlling ourselves than others do.   People also vary in how much time and effort it takes to regain control once it is lost. It’s worth knowing your own vulnerability to loss of self-control and what you need to do to restore it when it slips.

All this is not to say that you can’t express emotion at work—but you shouldn’t put raw emotion into action.  It’s fine to say “I am angry about …” But once you raise your voice, or repeat yourself endlessly, talk over someone or swear, you’re using language as an action, not for communication.

What Diminishes Self-control?

Anything that throws off ongoing regulation of your mind and body. Alcohol and other substances are obvious culprits. One of alcohol’s first effects is to disinhibit the brain, meaning that impulses strengthen and normal brakes on them weaken.

Insufficient sleep, too long hours and too few breaks from work can deplete self-control. Low blood sugar can affect some people quite dramatically.

Mental illness such as bipolar disorder can lead to intermittent difficulties with self-control. Executive function disorders like ADHD can also cause challenges.

The Army manual emphasizes a key contributor to loss of self-control—keeping emotions overly contained and not finding opportunities for appropriate release.

What Can You Do If You’re Running Low On Self-control?

Check in with your physical self—are you getting enough sleep?  Do you take breaks from working?  Are you skipping meals?  Do you ever go outside during daylight? Are you drinking water?  If you find yourself losing it, drink a bottle of water, eat a protein/complex carb snack, get outside.

Look for ways to release tension and give your emotions free rein— exercise, doing something creative and absorbing, or even something repetitive and mindless.

Spend some time thinking about why your emotions are getting the best of you.  Do you need to tackle a problem in your life that is lowering the threshold where emotion takes over?

Consider the implications of the theory that self-control is a limited resource.  How can you make sure you don’t use it up in one part of your day or segment of your life and have nothing left in reserve?

Above All, Practice The Art of Delaying 

Develop a habit of waiting. Never send an email in anger. Don’t confront a colleague or tackle a loaded issue if you’re not feeling settled.  Make sure you take your time making decisions and ask yourself if you’ve gathered all possible sources of information. Don’t take on a challenge you find very difficult if you’re struggling with an illness, depression or preoccupying problem.  It’s not that you shouldn’t work–just do things that are routine rather than demanding.

Repeated loss of self-control that manifests itself as aggressive behavior or demeaning language has no place in the workplace, whether it’s the CEO, a manager or any employee.  Any of us can slip once.  But a pattern of behavior that betrays a lack of self-control should always be seen as a serious problem with significant personal and business consequences.

Prudy Gourguechon is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who advises leaders in business and finance on the psychology of critical decisions, irrational behavior and key business relationships.

%d bloggers like this: