Sleep on it

Welcome to anyone receiving this weekly missive for the first time. Last week I said I would say a little more about the 25th Feb. I do, right at the end. But first, here is a short story.

Last Thursday morning I received an email from an MD of a business which operates in the same field as Globis. I am taking the lead on a piece of work on behalf of workplace mediation providers in the UK at the moment. In the email he outlined how he had been speaking with someone external to our network and had made a decision on behalf of the group without consulting with me or anyone else. The tone of the email was rather harsh. It was copied to 17 people.

As I read it I could feel myself getting hot under the collar. I hit ‘reply all’ and started to outline a response. I was trying to think of the right words to use. I was about to press ‘send’ and then decided to save the reply to my draft folder while I did something else. I wasn’t able to get back to it that day. Later on I met with an old colleague. We had a good catch up over a drink. Part way through our conversation he updated me about his family. His daughter had been mute from birth. She’s now 10 and following a successful operation (on the NHS) late last year has just started to speak. I was gripped as he told me the story.

I had a good sleep on Thursday evening and on Friday morning remembered that I hadn’t replied to the email. But on Friday, my feelings about it were totally different.

One of the things that I thought was that life’s too short. I wondered whether – particularly considering the conversation I had had with my former colleague – in the overall scheme of things, replying to the email was really important. I thought not and didn’t reply. We are meeting together as a group next Thursday. I’ll have a chat with him then.

What the episode made me think about is that it is sometimes worthwhile to take some time out if someone acts in this way. An approach of thinking how to respond rather than react or retaliate to a situation might just be the better thing to do. There’s a subtle difference. Sleeping on issues often helps. We regularly view things differently after a night of sleep. So, next time something like this happens to you, sleep on it, if you can, then, try and do the right thing.