email vs face-to-face conversation greg bustin

Be Careful

  1. July 5th, 2014  | 

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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 advises some of the world’s most admired companies and leaders, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 250 strategic planning sessions, he’s delivered more than 600 keynotes and workshops on every continent except Antarctica, and he coaches leaders who are inspired to take their career to the next level. His fourth leadership book— Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture (McGraw-Hill) —is a Soundview Executive Best Business Book.


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