Sit On It

Published: March 12, 2014
By: Faye Hollands

We live in an urgency addicted world.  With text messages, social media updates, voicemails, and good old fashioned phone calls bouncing into our lives every other second most of us are constantly plugged in, and used to responding to requests at the drop of a hat.  And that’s where one very big problem lies…

Ouch

With technology playing such a huge part in virtually every aspect of our lives we can communicate easily at any time of the day, and along with that ceaseless access has come a expectation that our response times should be quick and on-tap too.

Many of my corporate clients for example tell me they can’t turn their email off as their boss or team expect them to be on call and ready to reply at the drop of a hat.  The fear factor of ‘missing out’ is high, and the perceived risk of under-performing because they couldn’t hit send quickly enough is a stark reality.

The big problem with this growing need for immediacy is that we’ve got into the habit of responding faster and faster, and with that comes a real danger that you dilute your message, damage your brand, upset the recipient or simply don’t articulate your response adequately enough.

I’m sure we’ve all been on the receiving end of a badly written email that we’ve misinterpreted, simply because it was sent too soon without consideration for the tone or overall message that it was trying to convey.  It’s not nice, and it does nothing for the sender or the receiver.

Lets be clear – sending a quick message to say you’re going to be late is totally fine, but if you’re hitting send too soon on the messages that really matter you’re walking on dangerous ground.

So what should you do? Well it’s easy – sit on it.  When you get a message of any description – good, bad or otherwise – stop and process.  Consider the purpose of the message, what the sender wanted to convey, and the outcome they were looking for.  Give yourself time to work through how you can to respond and how you feel about the situation – particularly if you’ve had a strong emotional response to it.

As always, consider picking up the phone to reply to avoid misinterpretation, but at the very least take your time in respond.  The more emotional you feel about the topic, the longer you should take before you write or say anything.

By being more considered in your approach, rather than rushing to respond and regretting it later, you’ll give yourself time to feel good about your reply and will be much more likely to get a better outcome.

Don’t get drawn into the urgency around you – by taking a few minutes, or even an hour or two longer, will pay dividends later on down the track.  After all, once you’ve upset a colleague or client the damage control is often MUCH more time consuming and labour intensive!

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Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.

To receive your FREE MP3 download of Faye’s popular teleseminar ‘How To Create A Career You Love‘ and weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

Faye Hollands

About Faye Hollands

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success. To receive weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here or book your Free Focus Session here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

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