Sitting at my desk with a slew of emails to respond to, send and delete, I came across one concerning an issue I thought had already been resolved. This long, drawn out process had left me tired and there was nothing I had to say in the moment apart from spitting out a curt email.
Scribing the quick and witty response, I hovered over the send button. However, reading over the draft, I noticed a great deal of accusatory statements that were unhelpful, focused on passing blame or to vent my frustrations. I deleted the email, sat back in my chair and took a breath.
For fifteen minutes my mind went quiet. Reading through the previous email train, key details were left out in previous replies, and I was to blame. Knowing that I had just avoided looking like a total boob, I let out out a sigh of relief and then responded in a more deliberate manner.
If any part of this story resonates with you, I would suggest trying something different in the future.
Next time you receive a text, phone message, or email that you are not pleased with, take fifteen minutes.
Put yourself on the receiving end of the words you want to say. Write the email you want to write and record the phone call you want to make and listen to it. Is that how you intend to be heard?
Fifteen minutes might seem like an incredible waste of time when there are other more pressing matters that require your attention. But consider the continued emails sent back and forth or the backlash to accusatory language during a phone call. The time fifteen minutes could save you from the fallout of brusqueness could be worth it.