Before you hit send.....
It can be so easy when you’re really swamped with work; having a difficult week; or are just about to dash off to an important meeting, to whack off a response to an email without really thinking.
I’ve had a difficult week with a bit of a family crisis, but receiving an email from a frantic parent, when I was just about to switch off my computer for the day, made me stop and think.
It was a lengthy email from a mother seeking an assessment for her son. One section really disturbed me: “Indeed, his housemaster's final words to me still haunt me: he feared, he said, that ‘B’ would be incapable of functioning effectively in the world beyond boarding school. There were other damning words from a close relative. Sadly, I often hear such remarks being retold to me by students or their families.
I pride myself on an individual service and this was no exception. I sat back down at my desk and wrote a considered reply. This was her feedback: "What a wonderful, considerate and personalised response! Thank you so much Kris. You have indeed answered all my questions. I should be delighted if you would assess my son and feel instinctively that you will succeed, whatever his reservations, in putting him at his ease upon meeting him..... So much of what you say rings true and hits home - his lack of self-esteem is all too regrettably apparent..."
Hopefully, I can now make a difference to this young man’s life; give him back some self esteem and confidence; motivate him to continue with his studies at University and enable him to realise his potential. If I’d followed my initial instinct - feeling at an especially low ebb and in a bit of a hurry – to send a fairly swift response, I might not have had that chance.
Count to 5 before you send and you too might get the chance to make a difference.
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