How mindful are you with your communication? My friend Peter Biddle a couple days ago noticed a detail of my professional life in an Instagram picture I shared. He commented “133 emails in your drafts folder? Do you ever hit send?”
The answer is yes. I hit send all day long. But more than that I pause before sending even the shortest email. It has become a habit of mine to re-read each sentence before launching a message out into someones inbox. Most I do send. Often, I ditch it and call the person, write a quick text or delete the draft.
My step dad once told me that he thought about everything he said to someone once before letting the words cross his lips. He had a filter that would judge the worthiness of his speech. His practice wasn’t hesitation, double mindedness or indecision, it was great wisdom.
One of the best ways I have found to connect with someone is to learn how they communicate naturally, how they preferrer to communicate and most of all being present and mindful.
Mindfulness is a casualty of our current age. Busyness defaults to hasty words, disengaged hearts and rudeness.
Some of those 133 drafts were extremely long emails. In many of those cases I realized that there is no way I would be able to take the time and read through it myself. Why should I expect the recipient to read it. A phone call or in-person meeting would be much more appropriate.
To end this I thought Tiffany Shlain’s short film on tech etiquette she published this week would sum it up well. Check it out. My favorite was the section on email.
Oh and Peter, I deleted those drafts to make room for more.