/ improvement

Before you hit Send

  • Writing an email is a reflection of your thoughts.
  • It can set the mood of your reader and their opinion of you.

When you start crafting an email--whether it's a new one or a response--you need to pause and gather your thoughts.  You have to rely on your executive functions with a dash of empathy.

I am certain that at some point, we have received an email that has raised our blood pressure or excite us.  The first step you should take is to suspend your judgment.  In your mind, ask probing questions like what is the sender's intent? What was the senders state of mind when they hit the send button?

In other words, you need to pause and gather your thoughts.  The alternative is invariably easy thus in general, a good majority falls into this trap.  Our brain is wired to make hasty decisions.  It invariably tries to take the mental shortcut or the fastest route to complete the task at hand.  It does this because it thinks it can optimize the process so it can move on to the next task.

Moving on; now that you have placate yourself, you have to start the thinking process.  You have to rely on your executive functions with a dash of empathy.  This is where I learned the brain generally struggles.  It succumbs to the first idea that comes to mind.  (This is different from the previous section that mostly deals with how emotions play into the process).

This time, I am referring to critical thinking.  If you intend to express yourself objectively, you have to explore all of the data points that are available.  Facing it head-on with a narrow mindset will undercut your creativity.  Write the first draft and take a break.  If the email is non-trivial and you have time, you may need to take a longer break or better yet, sleep on it.

Crafting an email is not a prosaic task.  It is a reflection of your thoughts that may or may not have implications. Before you hit that Send button, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who will be affected by this message?
  • How will they receive the message?
  • If the message is forwarded to others, how would that change your tone?

I hope this helps you progress to become a better person.  Thank you.

Before you hit Send
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