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    What Was She Thinking?

    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    I have a friend who has a quick temper and a quicker computer. She will read something that makes her angry and dash off a quick e-mail reviling the writer, or post a scathing comment on the writer's blog. With one quick click, the message is sent on to shock the writer - frequently someone she doesn't even know. Needless to say, there have been repercussions. She has lost business and even friends, just because she doesn't take time to cool down before sending.

    This is one of the great perils of our electronic age - the gut response. Now we can react to anything immediately, through e-mail, blogging, and social media such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and the rest, all promoting - nay, encouraging - instant communication with no muss…no fuss…(no brains). We have become doers in lieu of thinkers, sometimes in the worst way. And in the process, we risk embarrassing ourselves and alienating others.

    When communicating with people - especially in business - we need to slow down and think a little more. Before hitting "send" on that irritated e-mail, consider the possible results. Do you want that client to believe you think he's an idiot? Probably not. Yet even the smallest negative word can carry big consequences.

    Therein lies the crux of the matter: Even small words carry power. They can hurt, insult, and destroy; or they can compliment, placate, and inspire. So choose your words with great thought, and weigh them with utmost care. Let your message sit for an hour. Take a break and come back to re-read your words with a fresh mind. Only after you are certain you are sending the message you really want to convey should you click "send."

    - Joyce Lee

    Photo by Zinaad