Your received a text or an email about a project you’re involved with. The project took a turn that surprised you. You replied and the loop begins.
How often have you felt unclear about a statement made in an email or text and were left with making an assumption?
How often have you made an assumption about a text or email that left you feeling crappy? Or found out you interpreted it wrong? Or you think someone else is wrong and you want to clarify?
What’s it all missing? Our Human Voice. Feelings. Syntax.
Here’s an example: A local organization that you volunteer in has had discussions about an upcoming event. You’re in the loop. You get an email that explains the direction one person took as an attempt to move forward. Your understanding of the next best move was entirely different. You send out a reply email explaining how you thought things would be handled. You then received a reply answering only PART of your concerns. Where are you now? Feeling dismissed? Feeling unheard? Feeling misunderstood? Probably. What do you do now? Send another even lengthier email explaining your FEELINGS? Probably not. Sit in your discomfort hoping you get another chance to explain? Maybe. Wait for the next meeting to avoid confrontation but now think you either have to act on your own in the future or be the commandant at that next meeting to make sure everyone gets you? Hopefully not.
Here’s another option. You can make a phone call. You can ask for a private meeting. You communicate directly, ya know, human to human. Voice inflection. Body language. The whole ball of wax. You may find out new things. You may understand (more) why things happened the way they did. And you have opportunity to be present. To be heard.
Think first, what is that person’s intention? Did they mean to say what you interpreted? Did you assume you understood their THOUGHTS because you read their words? Yup, probably. Do you normally know that person to act with good intention and this whole loop surprised you? Then give them the benefit of the doubt, and yourself, and SPEAK. Speak your mind and speak your heart, with good intention. It’s old school, I know, to pick up the phone. But good manners and common courtesy are never old school, or at least one I’m willing to dropout of.
Don’t make Assumptions, Don’t take things Personally, Be Impeccable with your Word, Always do your Best. Thank you Four Agreements for once again showing me the way. (The Four Agreements/Don Miguel Ruiz).
Emails and texts can suck, but they are an integral part of our daily lives and save us a ton of time. Take them with a grain of salt and don’t lose perspective when you are in the loop, we all go through it, but there is a lesson in that loop. You are still a person, with abilities to spin the situation and make it right. Go for that option, it always pays off.