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Think Before You Hit Send – Brian’s Blog

Brian Typing on Computer
Photo by Todd Harding

Trying to decide whether to let you heart or your brain talk can be a battle. I have no problem speaking from the heart. I trust my heart and in many situations can just let it take over and run the show. If I am speaking at a fundraiser or in a school or any setting of public speaking I let my heart talk. If I am writing an email or letter, I need my brain.

In front of a group I can read people’s reactions and adjust my words to meet the reactions. In a written piece you do not have that luxury so you must choose words carefully. How many times have you sat down and hammered out an email response to something and just sent it? How many times have you had to then send a follow explaining that you didn’t mean it the way it was taken? I know we have all been told this a hundred times but when you are writing something make sure the words are right. If I am responding to something that has lit my fire a bit I know I need to use caution. I will write out what I am thinking then leave it. I do not hit send. I read it again and then leave for at least half an hour and do some other task. I then come back and read again. I always end up changing some of wording at this point.

Put yourself in the position of the person who will be reading it and think of their mindset at the time and how they will react to reading the words you have written. What is the goal of what you are writing? What is it you are trying to accomplish? Will what you have written actually help you achieve it?

I would say that 80% of what I write is never sent after going through this process. The 20% I do send, I am confident is exactly what I want to say. Take your time and think things through when you are writing. You are not there when they read it to help them interpret what you are trying to say. Make sure you are clear. I prefer one on one live dialog whenever possible because then my heart can be as loud as it wants to be. I am a passionate man and sometimes that can come off wrong in print. Let your heart talk but make sure you let your brain check up on it.

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