I received an email I wasn’t too excited about. The policy change needed more thought to come up with the best solution, so, I hit the reply button and began to go through many of the reasons why the policy change wasn’t such a good idea. When I was done typing, I re-read my message for tone and accuracy, then copied and pasted the text into a Word document. I saved the draft email, then printed the document, folded up the paper and placed it in my pocket.
I walked to my co-worker’s office and asked for some time to discuss the policy change. Fortunately, time was available right then and we had a valuable talk around the whys and the whos and the whats. I didn’t need to refer to the printed document in my pocket – that was just preparation for the conversation. Through the talk, we were able to see each person’s side of the concern and work through other possible solutions.
Before you hit send, consider:
- What am I trying to accomplish by sending this message? Is there a better way to communicate this?
- Is there a potential for misunderstanding or hurt feelings by sending this?
- How’s MY emotional state? Was I stressed or frustrated when I wrote this?
- Have I read and re-read my own message? If my message is a reply, have I read and re-read the original sender’s message to make sure I’m not misunderstanding anything?
- Have I asked a trusted peer to preview it before I send it?
- Would I be comfortable with my message being printed out and posted for public consumption?