In this episode, I share some tips on how not to get emotional or overwhelmed when reading your emails or text messages.
Our mood and perceptions can influence the way we read information. Depending on one’s state of mind what meaning we give to what we read in email and text can work for and against you. However, if you are aware that your mood and perceptions can influence your communication then you stand a better chance of addressing any potential issues that may arise. In this podcast, I share some tips on what to do and what not to do when reading a text-based communication.
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Hey, Hey, Hey, how you doing? Hope you’re good on, well, today on this podcast I’m going to be talking to you about how not to get emotional when you’re reading your emails or text messages. Have you ever been in one of those situations where you’ve read an email or a text message and a, you’ve read it with frustration, possible anger, um, weird mood or whatnot just because of the frame of mind you’re in. Now, reading text messages is an interesting one because if you think about it in person, that body language is something like 50 to 60%. Then your tonality and the way you say things is like 20 30%, something like that. Then the remainder is what you actually say is about, um, seven to 10% or something like that rough figures anyway, if you research online you can get the exact amount.
So when you look at that, basically when you’re reading text messages, that’s kind of like 7% with a communication, right? So then it’s an interesting one to think about in regards to how and why we react to messages in a particular way. You know, is, is it the way the message is written? Is it just our mood? Uh, because our perceptions can affect our mood and the mood can affect our perceptions. So there’s been many times when in an email as comes through or a text messages come through and I’ve read it and I’ve thought, Hmm, this is interesting, where’s this coming from? But is that really the case? Is whatever I’m feeling in that moment, actually the way the other person has intended the message to read. Now, in most cases, it’s our own projections onto the actual message in our frame of mind.
And the reason I say that is because when I used to work with a Fortune 500 company, we used to have a ticketing system where country owners from various countries around the world would submit their tickets for any problems in issues that had into their system. And if you look at these countries, they were, English wasn’t their first language. So you might have Poland. My France might have Germany pain or various different countries where the country owner or the person in charge, you would submit a ticket into the system. Now if you think about it, if English isn’t your first language, then the way that information is written or sent across may be very direct and seem abrupt. And now we just got bear in mind that because they’re not speaking as a first language, the way that information is sent across and the way we read it we shouldn’t really read it in the same kind of format and manner.
And now basically what used to happen was that when these tickets came through and some of the team members used to get frustrated and kind of ended up making their own story around the meaning they were giving to a particular message, uh, when they would be like angry or frustrated, sometimes they would approach me. I say I look at this person, I don’t get what they’re saying here. Or look at the way they asking, you know, come up with like a meaning impose onto what they’ve said. And then when I go and read the ticket or just basically just read it for the, for them what it was and then just pull out and say they only just asking you to update this particular thing. And then the person would just get a bit relaxed and think. Okay, maybe I put my own perception onto it.
So this was very interesting because we sometimes have to check in on ourselves to see how we are being in that moment in time. You know, are we trying to focus on our own kind of email writing? And therefore when a message comes and interrupts us, we get frustrated with as we just got interrupted and therefore it triggers a mood. So when you read a text message or email, you’re reading it from a filter of kind of anger and frustration. So when you look at these things, we ourselves have to be careful in how we read this information. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that the person who sent the message has written it in a particular way. So I wanted to share this because, um, I think sometimes as business owners sometimes as just using email as communication, this can become an issue. And I’ve seen it a lot of times where when you, when you speak to the person, they assume you said something in a particular way, but then when you go back to us and not all I was asking for was X , Y, Z, then the clarity is created.
When you’re not sure about something, it’s always good to just jump on the phone and actually have this verbal communication with whoever you’re speaking to so that you can get a confirmation just by listening to the tone as to how they’ve intended that message to come across its a funny one because we as human beings, we do start to project our own things onto things. And it’s only if we’re aware consciously aware that we may be doing that. Can we have a bit of mastery over that? So next time when you get emails or text messages come through, you know, just check into your mood and how you’re feeling in that moment of time. And when you read the message and then read it a few times and just, you know, digest it, read what was being requested, calm down, make sure you’re not, you know, agitated by just your own workload or anything like that.
And you just, you know, might just have got distracted or something and then look at it and the reply. And sometimes if you catch yourself in a moot, it’s good to just park that message, let it sit for a while. And then when you’ve calmed down and you’re relaxed, then go back to it so that you can then address it from a kind of calm and neutral place. It’s true that certain messages can be written in a particular way where certain words are used to potentially ignite certain feelings and emotions within oneself. But those kinds of things work really good if you’re reading like a fictional book or some story or character where they’re trying to evoke certain emotions within yourself as you reading this material. Uh, but that’s, that’s something that, you know, clever writers can actually do. But when it comes to like just general everyday tasks, uh, emails, communication, things like that.
Just you know, check in with yourself as to how you read those messages and then how you respond to them. I usually find it good that if I am in a mood, when I’ve written a reply, I don’t actually send it straight away. I just like hold onto it and there were enough calmed down, go back to it and then reread it with a fresh mind to see how I’m actually coming across in that email. Because predominantly our communication these days is, you know, a lot by text messages, a lot of by WhatsApp emails even though you know, you hear so much about, Oh, email’s dead. Well, it’s not really. Most of the communication a lot of people do is through some sort of text form, text-based communication where there’s a ticketing system where there’s an email where there’s WhatsApp, Facebook chats, bots or no, it’s, there’s a lot that goes on.
And one of the other thing that’s very helpful is that allocate time to when you actually respond to messages. So if you are actually in a task or you’re doing something, you know, you might get an alert on your phone, which is actually a distraction because they’ll pull you away from what you’re doing and then you think for some reason you have to answer this message and reply to it straight away when all you’re actually doing is just, um, you know, dampening your productivity. So it’s ideal that when you’re working away and you don’t want to be distracted, just switch off your email client, switch off your phone or put it into silent mode so it doesn’t disturb you and then get on with what you need to do. Because most of the time it’s our own frustrations, our own kind of a frame of mind that can affect the way we do things.
So it’s really good to check in on your own mood because your mood has an effect on your perceptions and your perceptions have an effect on your mood. The other thing that to look out for is that you never know what the other person’s going through as well, how, what kind of day they’ve had. So if they’re written a message to you, they may well be coming from a space of frustration themselves and it may not be directed at you. So it’s good to not take text messages personally and just read them at surface level. And then if there is something of concern, it’s best to actually get on the phone with someone and speak to them and not reply back in the same tone because then it can escalate potential miscommunication in the wrong way when it wasn’t necessary. Don’t be afraid to talk to people.
You chat to them, get on the phone, have a quick conversation, because most often enough on the tonality of the conversation you’ll get from, you will understand where they’re coming from because you know you could pick up , every human is receptive to the tone of somebody you could pick up on whether somebody’s mood is affected or whatnot, or if they’re having a good day, a great day or a bad day. And I think it’s just the case of empathy just to jump into other people’s shoes every now and then, just think, where’s this person coming from? Before we jump to any conclusions. So it’s great to have clarity on anything and if there is something on a message just to highlight it and say, could you please elaborate on this particular point? I didn’t quite understand what you meant by this, just so that everybody’s on the same page. There’s almost just checking in on the communication to make sure you’re on the same wave. These are just little tips which I’ve picked up over the years. They’ve helped me, they’ve helped others as well teammates and I just wanted to share this with you so that you can come from a better mind space when dealing with any kind of text-based communication. So I hope you’ve enjoyed this and I’ll chat to you on the next one.
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