How to recover from 5 embarrassing communication fails at work


anthony weiner

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Don't ruin your career with these mistakes.


Anthony Weiner's back at it again with yet another scandal.

According to the New York Post, the former US representative sent lewd photos to a woman on Twitter in 2015. Weiner previously resigned from the House in 2011 and saw his New York City mayoral bid sink in 2013 over similar scandals.

Weiner is a good example of how risky (and risque) online communication choices can torpedo your entire career. What you write in an email, type in a text, or post on social media can really take a toll on your professional life.

While hopefully the majority of people haven't undergone anything close to this current fiasco, most people can probably relate to making a mistake in an email or message.


I experienced one such incident in college as the editor of the campus paper (coincidentally, at the same school where Weiner hung out with Jon Stewart for a year as an exchange student, according to this biography of the former Daily Show host).

The backstory: A campus protest involving a statue of Thomas Jefferson had prompted alumni to unleash a flood of letters to the editor to our student newspaper. As editor of said paper, I kept forwarding all of these letters to our opinions desk. After receiving one such letter, I passed it on with a note asking if the editors had room for it in the upcoming print issue. It was understood that if there was no room left in the issue, we'd post it online and possibly run it in print the next week.

There was one problem - I'd somehow managed to cc the letter writer in my email. He replied immediately, expressing his unhappiness. He'd taken the terse, vague wording of my note as indication that we were going to dismiss his letter altogether.

Fortunately, in that situation, I was able to quickly and clearly explain my mistake and assure him that we had every intention of accepting his letter.

However, as the Weiner case indicates, you're not always able to go back and fix such mistake.


Here are five common communication mishaps pertaining to email and social media, along with some tips on how to bounce back from each: