Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:
Someone sends you an email message or a text, and you’re unsure how to respond. It’s about a complex negotiation, or a politically sensitive situation. Or maybe it’s just from a person who unnerves you.
For a moment, you pause. But for most of us, most of the time, that pause doesn’t last long. Instead we react, feeling the need to immediately craft a response. And often we then hit “send” without fully thinking. The result: an awkward or incomplete message that causes the recipient to pause, then react, often starting or continuing a cycle of miscommunication and misunderstanding.
Yes, people today expect and want an instantaneous reply to any message. We often accommodate them because delay feels like a violation of modern-day social norms.
But there are many times when we should not immediately reply. And the truth is, we usually know them when they come. That’s what that…
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