There are times when I’m tempted to fire off a response to someone. I’m passionate about ideas, especially my ideas, and when someone has disagreed with me, or made a comment that I disagree with, I like to set the record straight. I’m sure I am the only one this happens to, but hear me out.
A long-time mentor of mine used tell me, more often than I care to admit to; “keep it in draft for 24hrs before you hit send”. In fact there was a week of my life, years ago, that he made me practice this for an entire week. It was harder than you think to pull off. But it was for a good reason.
At the time, I felt like The Karate Kid doing wax on, wax off. But, what he was really teaching me relates to so many of today’s communication mediums: email, social media, even with phone calls, voicemail and text messages.
Think about it:
- Social Media: Don’t ever forget that even though comments can be deleted later, they are forever in the internets
- Email: That recall button doesn’t always work
- Missed Phone calls: depending on the urgency of course
- Voicemail: Remember that “emergency” can mean different things to different people
- Text Messages: Make sure you have the complete message and context
There are times that responding immediately is the right move. But more times than not you will save yourself — and others — a lot of strife if you will wait before you hit send.