Think Before You Hit Send

May 22, 2014

In an article about maintaining a professional attitude at work, the first thing I mentioned is that you should think before you hit send on emails, texts, or making phone calls.  Communication can be really tough, as intention can’t always be read, and when you throw in time and distance from the person you are communicating with, it becomes that much more difficult.

Stop.  Think about your actions and the message that you are trying to convey.   Also think about what message you are actually conveying by sending a particular message.  It can be so easy to just let a text message fly, or respond quickly, but thoughtlessly to an email or text.  You can also regret it for a very long time.  There are so many ways to really screw up communications in the workplace, that you need to tread carefully.  Sometimes, a quick response is appropriate, and you should do so.  In other cases, it really does require stopping and counting to 10.

Scenario 1:

You get an email, accusing you of doing something wrong.  What do you do?  Do you fire off an email immediately?  How do you handle it?  I suggest that you read the email the first time.  Put it on your to-do list to handle, and walk away from the situation for a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the urgency of the email.  Then come back to the email and re-read it.  Think about how you should answer.  Chances are, if you’ve done something wrong, you’re going to have to cover multiple bases here.  First thing- own it, apologize, and offer some solutions to it.  Make sure that you cover all of the people affected, as well as your boss.  Best bet is to talk to your boss in person, if at all possible, and give them a heads up of what’s going on, and what you plan to do.  You may want to call the person who emailed you, and talk to them. Whatever you do, you need to put together a damage mitigation plan and be as pro-active about it as possible, rather than burying your head in the sand.

You need to plan your response, then execute.  Don’t just start typing away, and fire from the hip.  A moment coming off your fingers may very well result in loss of your job.

Scenario 2:

You get a message asking you to take on a new project.  Stop.  Think about it.  Think about how this project fits in your overall workload, and career plans.   This also requires time to think about it, and develop a game plan.  How you respond is highly dependent on what you want the outcome to be.  Understand that nearly every job assignment is negotiable.  Plot out your response, and stick to it.

When You Should Hit Send Quickly:

  1. Acknowledge receipt of an assignment.
  2. Letting someone know that you are thinking about an answer that may take a couple of days.
  3. Answering simple questions.
  4. Anything that takes less than 2 minutes to deal with sanely.

Summary:

In general, when an email is inflammatory, upsets you, or really requires thought, then you should delay response.  If it is something that is easy to do, quick, and can be quickly gotten off your plate, then do it quickly.  You should aim to answer most calls, emails, and texts within 24-48 hours.  Anything more, and people think that you are ignoring them,  or worse.  Give them a positive impression of you and your communication skills by being careful about intent and what you convey.

What do you think?  How do you handle tough communications?

Think Before You Hit Send 5

Categories

More Posts:

5 Strategies to Build Team Spirit in Your Business

The manner in which we connect and communicate with our staff members can have a considerable influence on their levels of motivation as well as their output. In this article, we explore a variety of psychological and motivational approaches that can inspire teams and...

How to Plan a Mid-Life Career Change

Moving into a different career can seem like an overwhelming challenge. However, if you have realized that you are no longer satisfied with your current role, making the switch can mean the difference between long-term happiness and long-term misery. Changing careers...

3 Communication Trends All Food Manufacturers Need to Know About

Effective communication is the basis of any successful business or industry. It allows for efficient teamwork and collaboration, helps identify and prevent problems, and leads to unique and innovative solutions. On the other hand, when it’s lacking, the final product...

All you need to know about Staff Augmentation: Business Solutions

With the Information Technology sector looking for better avenues to improve their work productivity and scalability, an innovative alternative to hiring. While the method is still in progress and is slowly gaining more visibility, staff augmentation is one of the up...

7 Important Tips for Graduates Seeking Employment

You are a new graduate! Congratulations! Now what? Well, like most fresh college graduates you are ready to hit the pavement--the virtual pavement--to begin your job search that will hopefully lead to a fulfilling career, if not an interesting career path. The job...

How Can WiFi for Construction Sites Improve Customer Service within the Construction Industry

The construction industry has evolved to make it a must-have for sites to have a good WiFi connection. Let’s go through some of the ways that having excellent WiFi on construction sites can improve the quality of customer service in the industry.

How Can Speech Analytics Prove to be a Useful Tool in the Recruitment Process?

With increasing numbers of candidates every day due to the high numbers of those who have lost their jobs in the last 12 months, HR needs to find the best way to sort through these applicants with ease. Speech analytics are helping HR teams across the globe every day with their onboarding process and making the experience more pleasant for all those involved.

What Should Outplacement Look Like for Executives?

It doesn’t matter where people sit in the organization either — this is something that can benefit everyone from new employees with just a year or two of experience under their belts to senior executives with 20+ years in the workplace. Executives looking for a new role naturally require a much more specific kind of outplacement service than other employees.

How to Make Sure Messages Get Through to Your Employees

Communication in the workplace can be difficult, especially when you remove in-person communication. You must make every effort to improve your messaging and to make sure your employees are getting your messages properly. Effective communication is one of the keys to a successful business.

How to Run an Effective Stand-up Meeting

Organizing daily stand-up meetings help promote team collaboration and prioritize your business’s goals. What’s more, your team knows their objectives for the day in less than 15 minutes. Moreover, a stand-up meeting is an easy and effective way to synchronize your team’s work while eliminating roadblocks to success.

How Can Speech Analytics Prove to be a Useful Tool in the Recruitment Process?

How Can Speech Analytics Prove to be a Useful Tool in the Recruitment Process?

With increasing numbers of candidates every day due to the high numbers of those who have lost their jobs in the last 12 months, HR needs to find the best way to sort through these applicants with ease. Speech analytics are helping HR teams across the globe every day with their onboarding process and making the experience more pleasant for all those involved.

What Should Outplacement Look Like for Executives?

What Should Outplacement Look Like for Executives?

It doesn’t matter where people sit in the organization either — this is something that can benefit everyone from new employees with just a year or two of experience under their belts to senior executives with 20+ years in the workplace. Executives looking for a new role naturally require a much more specific kind of outplacement service than other employees.

All Categories

Business Operations

Entrepreneur Interviews

Marketing, Networking, & Social Media

Self Care & Personal Development

Working Moms

Business Software and Technology

Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Organizing Tips

Sales

Career Building

Family Businesses

Inspiration

Starting Your Own Business

Work-Life Balance

Communication

Hiring Help

Management & Leadership

Time Management & Priorities

Women in Leadership

Recent Posts

How to Avoid Tax Trouble at Your Business

How to Avoid Tax Trouble at Your Business

As a business owner, you know how important it is to stay on top of your finances and taxes. But if you don’t have the knowledge or resources to do it yourself, getting help can be the best way to make sure everything is handled properly.  Here’s an overview of some...

What to Do When Your Vehicle Lease Comes to an End

What to Do When Your Vehicle Lease Comes to an End

As your vehicle lease reaches the end of its term, you are presented with three options: return the car to the dealership, sell the lease or buy it outright. Each choice obviously has benefits and drawbacks that must be weighed before making a decision. In this...

The Power of Women-Owned Small Businesses

The Power of Women-Owned Small Businesses

     Women-owned small businesses are on the rise, and their impact is undeniable. In fact, in 2019 alone, women-owned nearly 12 million businesses that employed nearly 9 million people and generated over $1.9 trillion in revenue. From retail to technology to finance,...

Nyago Michael Emmanuel

Nyago Michael Emmanuel

We invite many people who can invest in our Akiba Ya umoja community benefit savings and investment group of Uganda to enable us expand our operations in Uganda

Soe Tun: The Copy Doctor

Soe Tun: The Copy Doctor

Autistic kid finds out that he’s unemployable and doesn’t enjoy most social settings. Decides to be a pro copywriter as a result.

Annie Anderson – Business Strategist & WordPress Creator

Annie Anderson – Business Strategist & WordPress Creator

Annie Anderson is the owner and digital creator at Midnight Rebel Digital Co. With over 25 years experience in design and development and more than 15 years experience with WordPress, Annie is a great person to have in your corner when it comes to websites, tech, and systems.