While much of the advising I do ends up involving story-telling, what has fascinated me recently is how similar the requests for advice are…regardless of who is making them.
While we all have plenty to do, and normally not enough time or resources to get it done, job-based concerns tend to be the most straight-forward. What is not as straight-forward are people-based concerns, which may require assistance to resolve.
When I am approached for advice, people-based challenges tend to be the most common, highlighting frustrations of one kind or another. The good news is, the challenges have common themes: communication and compassion.
Communication challenges can point to method or message. Are we using the right medium? Are we considering how our message may be received? While there is no tone in email, is there implied tone due to how the message has been framed?
Compassion, on the other-hand, is appreciating the position or circumstance of the other person. When communication and compassion challenges are both present, frustrations run high on both sides, standing in the way of getting our jobs done and eroding relationships.
There are three key pieces of advice that I tend to fall back on whenever I hear the words “I frustrated with <insert name/team here>.” The first, and focus of this week, is all about that pesky thing called email.