The Words of the Cooper Family

Monday Morning Emails

Simon Cooper
January 28, 2013

About to go through my emails… All of them from last week; gritting my teeth.

Who likes it when their emails receive a reply? Everyone does! especially in an age when everyone is more likely to get a reply to a txt than from an email.

The following on from my last post and a comment Steven Stacy made on it via Facebook,

"That's one of the most wonderful things about being human… that we can assign new meanings to any new thing we do."

So, I'm reminding myself that each communication is an opportunity to give respect, understanding, and share many other good things with people.

But back to the emails: lots of replies needed to all the people who responded to the finance committee advert for someone under 40. Many of them from people over 40 either wondering why they got the email, or half joking about how they felt flattered. But anyhow, they deserve a reply. Then I have some emails that require action steps, and then there are those that require a lot of understanding….

Why understanding? Because on the surface critical of me, and also on the surface maybe I disagree with what is being said, also perhaps because they put forward a vision that I see as fundamentalist or limited. My job in these situations is to separate out all these different elements: Respond in a humble way to the criticism, see what is true in their vision and find a constructive way to point out what I see lacking. And see what we can unite on….There is some truth or something helpful in most perspectives, but it can often be wrapped up in misunderstandings, and strong negative feelings. It takes patience to unravel these things.

Is it worth the time? yes. Responding is often a sign that we actually care. So anyone out there today who receives communication whether it be by email or whether it be verbal, remember responding shows that you are interested in and value the other party.

Especially if you carry some authority, whether as a parent or within an organisation because of the position that you hold due to appointment, the people with seemingly less authority will be watching for how you respond or react, or if you respond at all. And on that basis people (whether your children or the members in your organisation) tend to make their decisions. 

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