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Mindful Emailing

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Mindful Emailing

E-mail is so fast it’s almost magical, yet with a little mindfulness it could be more than that—it could be truly transformational.

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Emails in the workplace often come with questions, work to do, goals to reach, and obstacles to overcome. That makes them inherently stressful or anxiety producing. Plus, communication is hard enough when we are face-to-face and email makes it much more challenging. Face-to-face we have the ability to read another person’s intentions and emotions. Over email, we are left guessing what the other person is trying to express. When you read an email that upsets you, it is often because a reaction is being triggered that may not be appropriate to the communication as it was intended.
Knowing this, here are some steps for what you can do to transform the email experience.



Compose an email

Try using the Enter key more. Shorter paragraphs are easier to read on screens.


Stop, and enjoy a long deep breath

Put your hands in front of you and wiggle your fingers to give them a little break. Now, lace your fingers together and place them behind your head. Lean back and give your neck a little rest. Now you’re in a good position for the next step.


Think of the person, or people, who are going to receive the message

How are they reacting? How do you want them to react? Do they get what you’re saying? Should you simplify it some? Could they misunderstand you and become angry or offended, or think you’re being more positive than you intend when you’re trying to say no or offer honest feedback?

If there’s a power dynamic (for example, you are writing to somebody who works for you or who reports to you), you need to take into account how that affects the message. A suggestion coming from a superior in an email can easily sound like an order.


Look the email over again and send

Look the email over again and make some changes. Take one last look, press send, and wish yourself good luck.

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