Which Vibes are You Sending?

apicThey're everywhere.  I find them in emails, in voice messages, in written notes and of course in body language.  They are the quiet, powerful messages we send to others.  The problem of course is that we may not realize that we are sending them until its too late.

I received an email the other day that went something like this:

"I see no reason why this can't happen again.  John submitted the request and we will move forward on this project."

Pretty subtle huh?  Notice the lack of even a salutation?  I take it I'm not going to get a Christmas card from that particular person.

Here is another vibe that I received via a form letter from a car dealership:

"Dear Michael St. Pierre, it is in your best interest to contact me regarding the purchase of an automobile."

Sadly, things got worse from there!  Besides the condescending tone, the page was printed on a sheet of paper with a small header that said, "form letter #462".  Doesn't really make you want to deal with that particular car vendor.

So how can you send off appropriate vibes in daily life?  Here are but a few suggestions:

  1. Email: unless you are emailing your best friend, use capitalization, avoid brusk responses and be nice.  If you really feel strongly about something, use a phone or better yet, visit the person in well... person.

  2. Phone messages: persistence beats being mean.  If you're not getting your message across via phone message, it may be time to use #3.

  3. Written correspondence: ALL CAPS is a rookie move and hard for the eye to see.  Likewise, using exclamation points for things other than jubilation can be dangerous.  Nonetheless, there is no substitute for a finely crafted letter and in our digital age, printed material still matters.

  4. Hallway pleasantry: your "how's it going?" means a lot to others so be pleasant, look folks in the eye and show interest in someone else's day.

None of this is rocket science but each item I mentioned makes a tremendous difference in your leadership.  After all, communication is the stuff of great leaders.

*Photo by Krish4U