I’m a fan of the “three dots in a bubble” that pops up when someone is responding to your text message — and I want to create a counterpart. We need a new icon with three lightbulbs that shows “I’m thinking.”

Not just with texts but with communication in general, there is an expectation of an instantaneous response. We would be better off if there was an easy way to allow people to consider their reply without leaving the recipient in cyber-limbo. You could hit the three lightbulbs to indicate that you need a moment to ponder – to think of the implications beyond the obvious that came to light upon reading the query and to craft a thoughtful response that uses more words than smiley faces.

Currently, we’re faced with the dancing ellipsis that impatiently nudges us to hit “send” in order to pacify the eager recipient who is also watching the dots for them to morph into a message. Until my three lightbulb idea comes to fruition, intentionally ignore the icon boogie and prioritize a wise response over a speedy one.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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