How Will Hitting ‘Send’ Make You Feel?

This is the first post of a thirty blog series devoted to examining Dale Carnegie’s 30 principles of How to Win Friends and Influence People. I will be writing these blogettes with the intention of educating and/or inspiring NarraSoft’s 60 employees in Manila, the Philippines with specific focus on our customers in the software development, mobile development and 3D/2D art outsourcing industries. I hope they will also be useful to other companies and individuals. Thank you very much for reading and please reach out with any comments, questions or ideas you may have. My email is phil@narrasoft.com. And thanks again!

I debated how to cover this first principle. There are many angles to discuss when it comes to the value of positive thinking and behavior. However, in the end, I opted to share a piece of advice someone once shared with me. And as with most of the 30 principles, it’s very obvious and something we all know, but sometimes we need to be reminded.

Before you send any communique (email, text, tweet etc) which criticizes, condemns or complains, you should ask yourself how it makes you feel at a visceral level. If the answer is “It feels good!”, then resist temptation and DON’T press send. During conflicts, it is easy to find fault with others, and it is human nature to want to lash out. It makes our selfish ‘self’ feel good. But placing yourself in the other person’s position and trying to understand why they have the point of view they have is a much more intelligent and productive course of action.

I think most of us intuitively know this, but the simple litmus test of asking yourself if a negatively charged email ‘feels good’ was a eureka moment for me. Try asking yourself this question next time you are composing an email in response to someone you disagree with or who has disappointed you. I think you will find it to be remarkably useful.