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Morning Mindset with Paul G. Markel


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Nov 14, 2018

Before you hit the send button for any type of digital message, take ten seconds to re-read what you wrote and consider the context. You might be glad that you did.

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Episode Transcription

[INTRO]

♫ Trenches by Pop Evil ♫

*Alex*

Welcome to Morning Mindset. A daily dose of practical wit and wisdom with a professional educator & trainer, Amazon best selling author, United States Marine, Television, and Radio host, Paul G. Markel. Each episode will focus on positive and productive ways to strengthen your mindset and help you improve your relationships, career goals, and overall well-being. Please welcome your host; Paul G. Markel.


*Professor Paul*

Hello, welcome back to Morning Mindset. Today we're going to talk about context. I'm going to start with a short personal story as you guys know, I've been writing professionally for 25 plus years now, and I've had a number of editors, and with the Advent of the internet, I was able to communicate with my editors via email. They were able to communicate with me their wants and desires and needs they were able to communicate those with me via electronic mail, and I had one editor who I thought must have really hated me.

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You say well if your editor hated you, they wouldn't buy stories from you. They wouldn't print your stories if they hated you, but I thought he must have thought I was a jerk or a not nice person, and I understand this is family friendly. Because the emails that he would send me were always very, let's say curt, borderline rude. Borderline sarcastic and I thought man this guy must really think I'm a turd, or a jerk or something. Because every time I get an email from him, it's just the most curt, short, rude thing that I could imagine reading or writing.

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Well, I thought that until I got together with some other fellow writers at a writers event, and we were talking about writing for this one particular magazine and this one particular editor and I said to him "I've got to ask you guys, when he emails you, just to see you know, how are his emails?" and a friend of mine. He said "Oh, he's terrible. He's the worst email writer in the world" and I said, "Thank the Lord I said, I thought it was me. I thought he was angry at me or that I was a jerk." He didn't like me, nope.

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He said "No, no, no, we all get those emails. The emails that we get from him are all short, curt, rude and like he's angry at us and here's the thing. He really wasn't here, and he really wasn't a person who was trying to be rude or short or curt or discourteous or what have you. It was the fact that he did not understand the way that his emails and his messages were coming across to other people. He knew what he was trying to say, he knew the information he was trying to convey, and he just assumed that that context would be conveyed to everyone else who was reading it.

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But it wasn't, what it came across as is he came across as like he was a jerk, and we were butt heads and needing like us it was kind of was very rude. Now today here in this Modern Age, this wonderful Modern Age that we have how much of your personal interactions in your conversations. Let's say in the course of a week how many of your business conversations take place face-to-face or via telephone?

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Mmm, and you say if you're like most people I would say probably less than half and maybe even a smaller percentage of those of those conversations that you have with people of your interaction with others probably less than half of all of it is either face-to-face or verbal via a telephone. Most of them are what? their via email, or text messages or direct messages or if you have one of these. These when it caught the inner office software programs where everyone works through sent.

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There's one called Basecamp where everybody works under the same base camp dealio. So you've got all the employees using the same channel and interweb if you will. So a great deal of your correspondence a great deal of your interaction with your peers and friends and business associates, and so forth are via digital message, right? So there you are you compose a digital message but really touch send do yourself a favor? Before you hit the send button, for an email or a digital message via text or basecamp or whatever it is that you're using to transfer your words in a to the eyes of someone else take 10 seconds and reread it, and think about the context think about what you wrote and consider the context and whether or not the people on the other end.

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Are going to be required to assume or guess your feelings, or whether it is implied? Because you may and this is all you know Morning Mindset is all about leading a more positive and productive life, and sometimes you may alienate other people. You may cause hurt feelings for no reason other than the fact that the messages that you send seem to be rude or Kurt or just short you're being short with them. Or sarcastic or what have you. Sarcasm does not transfer well through digital messaging.

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Alright, so stop or use it very sparingly use it very sparingly. Often we were being sarcastic in our emails and our messages and we think that we're being funny. But it doesn't come across to the receiver as funny. It comes across to the receiver as we're being a jerk or condescending, and you might say no, that's not what I meant at all. I didn't mean for that to be condescending. I hear the reality of it is this when you send that digital message, it's not like a sentence that you say to someone over the phone if you're on the phone with someone and you say something or face-to-face and they give you that weird look or they say what or understand or whatever.

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You have the opportunity to clarify whether it's on a phone call or face-to-face, you can clarify your point. You're like, oh no this I want to talk about at all what I meant and then they go. "Oh, okay. I see, I understand what you meant by that and we're good." But you can't do that with a digital message, can you? No you can't. Because what they're going to do is they're going to read that sentence over and over and over again with no context from you.

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No explanation from you, and they may come out thinking this guy is an a-hole. This guy's a jerk. This guy is a smart alec and he thinks I'm stupid, and you might say "No, that's not it at all. It doesn't matter, right? So. If you want to lead a positive and productive business relationship with other people before you send off and I've done this and I know I've been guilty of doing it and I try to go back and always reread, you know, my messages, especially emails. I'm composing an email to someone I try and go back and reread them, and think about like that. I'm reading it from their perspective, whether the context is there whether they understand it will they understand the context of what I'm saying?

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Because if they don't then and what's worse is that they come back they're like they may come back to you and say what or I don't understand or can you explain that a little better? But most people won't most people just read it and think what a jerk or they'll forward it to someone else there other co-workers say. Am I wrong or is this guy jerk? It just seemed like he's a jerk and they're like, yeah, he is a jerk. You may not be a jerk. You may not want to be a jerk, but it's coming across that way because the context is being lost.

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So ladies and gentlemen, you can take one piece of advice from me today before you send another email before you send another message another base camp another whatever take 10 seconds reread it. And consider whether or not the person on the other side, the other side will understand it and realize what you meant. And if not elaborate or just make a phone call. Okay. All right. That's all I got to say about that tub subject. Thank you very much for being a part of the Morning Mindset audience. I'm Paul Markel, I'll talk to you guys again real soon.


[OUTRO]

♫ Trenches by Pop Evil ♫

*Alex*

Thank you for spending time with us today. To get show notes, submit a topic request, for more from your host Paul G. Markel, visit MorningMindsetPodcast.com. That’s MorningMindsetPodcast.com. Please leave a review of this podcast on your favorite podcast player, we appreciate your time & effort, and we look forward to reading your honest feedback.