A Lesson In Cogitation

Posted by Bernie Reifkind on March 30, 2011

Business communication today is moving at a blazing, speeding, dizzying pace.  Things aren’t fast.  They are sudden.  It’s all about right now.

We are all sending and receiving texts, emails, phone calls, tweets, facebooking, linked in, etc and most of us try our very best to respond as quickly as we can to customers, employees, managers, family.  Quickly.  Urgently.  Almost as if each response is an emergency.

How much of our communications are really emergencies requiring immediate attention?  Some of it, but not all of it.  How do we decipher?  Do we really need to respond to every email or text right away?

Responding too quickly can sometimes lead us to make a decision “on the spot.”  A bad decision.

Sometimes we send an email too fast because we feel the need to keep up with the pace of our busy lives.  Moreover there are times when we send an email that we wish that we hadn’t sent.

Has that ever happened to you?  Of course it has.  It’s happened to all of us.  Once you click “send” there is no going back.

Ugh.

Maybe a dynamic has changed and the content of the email is no longer valid.   How do we “un-send” an email?  We can’t.  How do you “un-ring” a bell?

The internet has changed everything with regard to how we communicate but we must always consider that digital is permanent.  If we send an email to someone, we need to consider that the words typed, the “tone” of the email, typos, all of it is permanent.

I have all of my emails from more than the past ten years. I bet you do, also.

So the case I am making is that one should be very careful and deliberate when sending or corresponding to an email.  It’s permanent.

Why not slow down before sending an email and begin cultivating cogitation.

Cogitate.  Ponder. Contemplate. Study. Chew on it.  THINK. Cogitating is a concept that is so “yesterday”  but is so necessary.  We need to remind ourselves about  another outdated concept: waiting.

Unless it is an absolute emergency, cultivate cogitation.  Chew on it.  Ponder it.  Back up a minute and consider the ramifications of how we respond and what we say in our response.  Wait.

In summary maybe we need to cultivate cogitation and use it as a valuable resource in our daily business narrative.

Someone once told that before you write and mail a letter to someone, you should put the letter in a drawer for 2-3 days and then re-read it.  If you feel the same way about what you wrote then send it.

Or not.

I am Bernie Reifkind, CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc. I can be reached at 1(800) 801-1400 or email at ceo@psihealth.com.  I welcome your phone call.

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