email vs face-to-face conversation greg bustin

Be Careful

July 5th, 2014  | 

Published in Conflict Resolution, Organization Health

Email vs Face-to-Face Conversation

I recently replied to an email when I was frustrated.

Bad idea.

I read the email from my phone in a meeting. Never mind that I should have been focused on the meeting. The email lit me up like a Christmas tree. So I replied with an answer that, while accurate, was not constructive. It gets worse.

I hit “Reply all.”

Shortly after my reply I provided my feedback in a face-to-face conversation with the person I called out in my email. This person, whom we’ll call John, is a friend and trusted colleague, and our conversation was professional and productive.

A few hours later John saw my email. It was out of synch with our face-to-face conversation.

Over the next three days, John and I spent a lot of time repairing our relationship.

The message is clear: Be careful.

Before you text a message or reply to an email, stop and ask: Is the message I’m sending the message the person on the other end is receiving?

About the Author: Greg Bustin is an executive coach, consultant and speaker who has delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents. Greg advises leaders at some of the world’s most admired companies, and his views about leadership have been published in The Wall Street Journal, Chief Executive, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., Investor’s Business Daily, Leader to Leader, and other major publications. He’s written five leadership books. His newest book, How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices (Sourcebooks), examines decision-making in history’s greatest triumphs and tragedies. How Leaders Decide


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