Have you ever sent an email message and then regretted it after it was too late?
A rule of thumb should be that whenever you need to have a difficult conversation or give feedback, you do it face-to-face, never send an email.
Words in an email are powerful and can be misconstrued.
BODY LANGUAGE SPEAKS VOLUME
Did you know…only 7% of what people hear are words, 38% is the tone of voice, and 55% is body language. Both the tone of your words, and your body language cannot be seen or heard in an email; therefore, email communication can often be interpreted incorrectly, and the message may not be received with the intention it was sent.
Workplace coaching face-to-face is necessary to ensure your feedback is received appropriately when the need for a difficult conversation arises. Michael Massari, the VP of Caesars Entertainment, discusses with Forbes the importance of face-to-face communication and its impact on collaboration. Regardless of the industry, all businesses require the need to create prosperous partnerships, and that is done through building trust and engaging others in face-to-face communication.
Now, if you are investing this time into business partnerships outside of your organization, you should definitely be investing the same time into your people.
So, what drives effective leaders to make email mistakes?
One of the 15 competencies in EQ-i 2.0 model developed by Multi-Health Systems (MHS) is impulse control – the ability to resist or delay an impulsive, drive, or temptation to act.
It is your impulse control that leads you to spew off a clever and snappy reply to the person who just sent you a nasty email.
But wait, breathe and figure out a strategy on how you are going to broach the difficult subject in person, face-to-face.
Like building any muscle…you need to work it to become stronger. To have bigger biceps, you need to do more bicep curls.
In order to build your emotional muscles, you need to work them. To become better at controlling your impulses, you need to resist the temptation and don’t send an email, even if you really, really want to.
Impulse Control Best Practices
Try these best practices for Feedback that Works from the Harvard Business Review:
- Focus on business outcomes
- Give feedback often
- Don’t assume you are right
- Ask questions
- Gather feedback on how you give feedback
Use the business outcome as an opportunity to solve problems rather than criticize the person you are speaking with. This allows for the chance for you to align your goals and find a solution together.
“Difficult feedback is rarely about getting the facts right, it’s about conflicting views, feelings and values. Reasonable people differ about all of these things.” – Robert Witherspoon
When you are coaching someone you should be looking at the whole picture, the business goals, their perspective, and the follow-through if necessary. Conducting these meetings face-to-face will build rapport, encourage your team, and develop their commitment to growth, so don’t do it over email!
Take a minute to reflect on your impulse control, does it affect how you respond to your team? Do you fall victim to your impulse control and press send too quickly?
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