I remember, it was the early 90’s and I was banging out sermon notes on my Royal typewriter. The phone rings and it’s one of the men from my church. He starts telling me how much I need a computer. I thought to myself: What would I ever do with a computer? But he persisted and even offered to buy me one. And with that…I entered the computer-age.
There was about a six month learning curve that almost resulted in divorce since I shut myself up in my home office refusing to let anyone in who might interfere with my attempts to master all the software programs that came pre-loaded with my new computer. I was mesmerized, hypnotized, possessed by this little box sitting on my desk (my first computer was a Mac Classic). Before I knew it I could not imagine what life was like pre-computer.
Computers have become a major part of our lives. Computers have opened up a whole new world of communication: Facebook, Twitter, etc., and of course, email. In the future I’m going to write about how to use Facebook and Twitter as a spiritual discipline, but today I want to share five ways to avoid regret with email.
1. If someone sends you a nasty email criticizing you or the church, which, in their mind, is probably the same thing, never…let me repeat, never respond until the next day.
2. Before you reply, run your response past your spouse. If your husband or wife recommends omitting or adding something, take their advice. Almost without exception, every time I’ve violated these first two tips I’ve regretted it.
3. Always remember that email can’t communicate your tone or facial expressions. These are important components the can make or beak effective communication.
4. Some communication is best done in person. Some is best done over the phone. Some can be handled in an email or letter. Have someone in your life who can help you decide which is best.
5. In regards to all forms of communication remember Dave’s Rule #14, Never underestimate your ability to be misunderstood. Number 15 is pretty good also: Never underestimate your ability to think your being clear, when all the while being vague.
What other “email-advice” can you come up with?