Client Talk - Dealing with a Negative Comment

Client Talk is our weekly advice column about the trial and tribulations of working with difficult clients. If interested in submitting a topic or question for this column, then do so through the button in the sidebar.

In corresponding with a client via email, he made a comment that I was uncomfortable with. It had nothing to do with the work we're doing, but it still came across as unprofessional. How should I respond?

It may be tempting to respond right away, possibly unleashing a bit of rage or making your uncomfortableness known. However, it's best to wait a day and respond with poise and professionalism. Here's why:

If the comment was indeed insensitive or offensive, a quick biting response could end up as a step down to the client's level, tarnishing the professionalism of the relationship. Plus, if the client didn't mean, or didn't realize, that he made an uncomfortable or inappropriate comment, then you're now overreacting to something that could have been dealt