In this world of electronic communication, a handwritten thank you note with a few words of appreciation really stands out and makes an impact. By taking just a few minutes to write your thoughts down to thank others for their effort, leadership, hard work, dedication, time or gift, you will be able to deliver a powerful message. The effort will be remembered and can make a difference.
Sending email when you are angry, agitated, or upset is never a good idea. It might seem like a good idea at the time but I have never heard of a flame mail that was sent that ended up being positive. It simply is not productive. Find another way to get it out of your system that is more productive. You might want to call a friend to vent, especially one who is not involved in the immediate situation. If no one is available, take a break. Maybe take a walk to calm down. Fresh air and exercise work wonders. You might even want to write down some of the points that you want to discuss at a future date. Then sleep on it. Funny but when you wake up, the issue is never as big as it was the day before and you now can either calmly and rationally address the situation at hand or let it pass altogether.
In the same vein as you hear the wood worker say measure twice cut once, my rule is to write an email and then read through once for content and then read through again from the perspective of the receiver before sending. It is not always easy to communicate everything you want in email and certainly not the first time around. So by taking two review passes, you are more likely to send the actual message you were intending. This may take a little more upfront time but saves you time on the back end from dealing with unintended consequences that can come from hastily created correspondence.
Most of what we do at work is not done by us alone. We work with others to complete tasks, give presentations and manage projects. As one of the ways to make sure I am giving credit where credit is due, I default to using we instead of I in most of my communication. By using we you can include your colleagues and you will create an air of partnership and inclusiveness that will make others appreciate the acknowledgement and excited to work with you. It is a small thing but quite noticeable to your team. If you are lucky, it might catch on and others on your team might start using it too.
There are many times that you will need to get buy in for an idea, project, analysis, paper, presentation, etc. I have found that it is hard to get total consensus in a meeting when participants are coming in cold. It is important to give your colleagues a chance for a dialogue with you, a give and take so you can understand their position and they can ask you questions about yours. However this doesn’t usually unfold the way you scripted it in your head. So for critical decisions when multiple people are involved, I have found it very helpful to do one off prep meetings in person with those you need buy in from before the key decision meeting. It will take more time this way but think of this time as an investment in the outcome you are looking for, a way to improve your odds of gaining consensus in your round table meeting, which I would say is time well spent.