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Jack Burke Jack Burke , 3/26/2014
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When angry, we tend to lash out verbally or in writing.  In the electronic world of instant communication, this can have devastating results.  

The next time something lights your fuse, exercise restraint.  Don’t make that call until you've had 24 hours to cool off.  If you write a letter or e-mail, wait 24 hours and then read it.  If it still makes sense to you, send it.  Or, as is often the case, you’ll soften the message or won’t even need to send it.

Here’s a recent example:  I received an early morning e-mail from an agency owner describing three problems he was having with staff members.  He was hot about it and asked me to call him on his cell phone because he would be traveling in his car most of the day.  I tried calling him several times. but kept getting messages that his cell phone was not in service.

The next morning the owner called me.  As it turned out, a cell tower had gone down in the area where he was travelling, and he was incommunicado for the entire day.  As he put it, “This gave me time to think. I understand the situation better and realize why some of my staff are having problems.  In their position, I probably would have done the same thing.”  The problem resolved itself because the owner had time to think before taking action.