The written (or typed) word can come back to haunt you!
Are you aware that the words you speak may be very different than the words you email or text?
It is very easy … usually way too easy … to quickly tap out an email or a text instead of taking the time to make a call or speak to the person face-to-face.
We need to be careful that our written communication conveys what we want it to say. Always read and re-read before hitting the ‘send’ button or you may take more time explaining yourself than you have available!
Sometimes we can convey an underlying emotion because the anonymity of a text or email may make us feel like we have the ‘power’ to say whatever we feel like saying. It can be tempting to choose a particular word to make a point but that word could have negative consequences when it is read by the recipient. When you need to send a message about an emotion-charged or sensitive topic, it may be good to ask someone else to review your message before sending it.
Other times, because we ‘give in’ to the temptation of a quick responses and move on with our life, we may make some poor word choices or expressions and our meaning may be misconstrued or misunderstood.
An email response of ‘No way.’ Is very different than ‘I’m busy at the moment but will get back to you about that.’ and really took less than 30 seconds longer to type.
A text of ‘Can’t do’ is perceived very differently than ‘Will check n let u no’. Ultimately, both of the above responses may be a ‘no’ and you may already know that - but the other person will feel that you at least took a bit of time to consider their question or problem before shooting back a curt response. Don’t let yourself feel pressured to immediately reply to an email or text if you don’t have the time to craft an appropriate response. The other person has no idea what you are doing and so you can always start your response by saying ‘Sorry, was in a meeting’ … and then the rest of your message or type ‘Was on the phone – will reply when I get a minute.’ The recipient will know you are not ignoring them but you have now bought yourself some time to think.
Professional emails and texts can be quick – that’s the beauty of them – but they need to still have some thought behind them. What may be acceptable or funny in a personal setting may be perceived exactly the opposite in a business setting. Be careful!