Skip to content

Season’s Cheer

Wed, 15 Dec 2010, 09:53 AM (-06:00) Creative Commons License

I got an email from a colleague last night. It came after a week on the road and a really dismal day of decompression when I got back. The dismal days have been really deep, lately.

I had emailed him to ask about some work we were doing and whether I had overreached in a meeting we had earlier that day. I was worried I was treading on his turf. I was trying to be careful, trying to be humble, doing the kind of sanity check that is so easy to do when you work face-to-face but is difficult when you’re remote.

He wrote an uncharacteristically long reply which included this.

I went back and read what you wrote again. I think you are worried that you might have stepped on my toes or something like that, but you didn’t. I have worked with you long enough to know that you carefully think through problems and ask some pretty good probing questions, which is what we need on this project. I don’t mind you taking the stage, because I know it is going to move us forward. You are a known quantity to me. You’re in the inner circle. And you get to pass go and collect $200.00.

What an astounding response. As business communication, it certainly breaks the mold. I wasn’t looking for a warm fuzzy, yet this sure qualifies. People say it’s hard to communicate body language in emails, but it’s hard to misinterpret his. And it’s enough to cheer me up through the season.

And so now I’m wondering … what was that $200.00 he was talking about?

© jumpingfish by David Hasan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License