A colleague recently sent me an email letting me know that they were not going to be able to complete one of their required job duties. I was sitting in an airport waiting on a delayed plane so not in the best of existing mood when I fired off my response. My colleague came straight back to me and sought to clarify that their message was asking not telling…. I had not got that from the words used, so this information changed the message and in turn my response to it.

In the Mandt system we talk about “affirming your emotions and choosing your behavior” this is just as much true in our written communication as our spoken. The lesson for me from this back and forth is ‘seek first to clarify and understand’. I could easily have gone back with “Let me check I have understood your message correctly…. Are you telling me or asking me….?”

My colleague is a gracious individual so am sure our relationship will incur no long term ill effects. Also, the unexpected bonus…thanks for the blog content for this week.

Simon Kemp – CEO The Mandt System