I recently received a major award from my professional association and learned about it through an email. In addition to the announcement and details about the award presentation, the sender wrote: “With the changing times it feels strange to send this [first] via email but I believe we have moved to this as a standard and expected form of communication. Perhaps I can generate a dot on this strange feeling.”

I’m not surprised about it feeling strange to send my notification in this way. He was experiencing the dissonance of using a method he thought the receiver would want vs. a method that felt true to him. It’s like the grandma feeling strange texting her grandchildren or them wincing at writing her a handwritten letter instead of a greeting on Facebook.

I think you can eliminate the strangeness with a decision about authenticity. I choose to send handwritten letters, even to my phone-obsessed nieces and nephews, because it is authentic for me. I welcome their thank-you texts for packages, although I would never send one. I choose to send emails or notes to colleagues instead of sending social media messages as they often do.

While much is written about tailoring your message to your audience, ultimately you, as the sender, should choose a vehicle for that message that is authentic for you. Receiving good news is fantastic no matter what the method and a sender should feel good about sending it, too.



About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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