I've discovered the "talk text" feature on my phone, which allows me to dictate my texts rather than laboriously enter them via the tiny keyboard on my phone's screen. This, as you might imagine, is both boon and bane. It saves me a lot of time and irritation and permits more complete, thorough text messages when warranted. But... I do tend to go on.
Still and all, it's been really handy for back-and-forth with sponsees, (in this case the Skateboard Pup) when one or the other of us is unable to talk on the phone and a more immediate exchange than emailing is desired.
Recently the Skate Pup has gotten a new job, and is having a hard time with some aspects of corporate life. And some aspects of corporate supervisors. I had laughingly told him recently that I had always thought of writing a brief business book entitled "Don't Click Send," as some of the biggest mistakes I've made over the years was sending that email that perhaps shouldn't have been sent -- or should have been very, very heavily edited prior to sending...
SKATE BOARD PUP: Don't click send... right?
MR. SPONSORPANTS: Right.
SBP: I was/am sooooo close...
MR. SP: ?
MR. SP: Yes, that is not an amends you want to have to work to become willing to make.
a few minutes pass
SBP: ...what if you're standing up for yourself? I'm not sending the email... just curious.
MR. SP: When I feel I need to stand up for myself... Well then it becomes a mindful exercise in HOW I say whatever it is I feel that I need to say.
MR. SP: And then, in business communication, being mindful in that way not only keeps me squarely rooted in the principles by which I must live - not because I want to be a "good boy" - fuck that - but because if I don't, I have empirical proof that I will get crazier in my head.
SBP: Aaaah. Ok.
MR. SP: But also because I must not let my passion, my anger, my need for my day in court -- even when it is justified -- prevent me from playing a good game of chess.
SBP: The "good game of chess" being the thoughtful/mindful way I say what I need to say...
MR. SP: Yes! YES! And also literally "strategic communication." Both "Managing Up," i.e., managing my supervisors, and also "Managing Down," being sensitive to holding authority over people and how that can charge my communication with them and how they hear it (just as it hapens to me when people who have career power over me communicate with me...). Not speaking from either ego or alcoholism or just plain old fear and anger. One rarely advances their career or argument or cause when speaking from anger.
a few more minutes pass
SBP: But what about when I feel strongly about something?
MR. SP: Well, I don't want to lapse into a word game around this, but I believe there is a difference between when I speak with passion or enthusiasm vs. when I speak with rage and rancor.
SBP: What if I can't shift gears? I mean emotionally?
MR. SP: Then don't click send.
MR. SP: Pop Quiz! Fill in the missing word: "We BLANK when agitated..."
MR. SP: No, that's not quite right. LOL'ing when agitated, depending on the circumstances, can result in a 72 hour hold.
MR. SP: "We BLANK..."
SBP: Pause! Pause! "We PAUSE when agitated..."
MR. SP: Huzzah! A+! So basically, buddy, cool your jets, write about it but don't...
SBP: ... click send. Right.
several minutes pass
SBP: You realize you have a whole Mr. SponsorPants post here. :-)
MR. SP: lol I guess I do! Thanks!
SBP: Thanks, Mr. SP.
MR. SP: Hey, it's a two-way street, you know that by now. You're most definetely not the only one who needed to hear that today. It's a big help to me, too. Cheers!
There are more essays like this in "Mr. SponsorPants: Adventures in Sobriety and The 12 Steps for AA's and Others." Available as an eBook on Kindle via Amazon. Download the Kindle reader app for free on any device or platform, from PC to Smartphone.