Much of our verbal communication skills can be applied to written communications such as email and text.
- Put aside distractions and focus on the message.
- Read the words, but also pay attention to the tone.
- Notice the punctuation they’ve chosen, such as exclamation marks.
- Don’t start thinking of your reply until you’ve read the entire message.
- Avoid jumping to conclusions or passing judgment until you’ve read the message at least twice.
- If the message is emotional or you feel the need to react or argue, step away from the keyboard.
- When you’re in a calm state of mind, respond respectfully and honestly.
- Make sure you specifically address any concerns listed in the message.
- If the message feels aggressive or pointed, consider moving the conversation to a phone call or in person where you can each get a better read on one another and are less likely to misinterpret what is being said.