Composing an Email? Danger! Danger Will Robinson!

emailIconLate last year I went to a conference in New Orleans to help make funny motivational speakers even funnier. Also attending was a fabulous fellow speaker and friend whom I never get to see, except at conferences like this. I'll call her…Amy.

Yesterday I got an email from Amy to me and another speaker (let's call her Connie) who lives close to me – introducing us to each other. It was a bright, happy, Amy-like email filled with fun and spice, suggesting that since we were both two of the most amazing people she knew and we should know each other if we didn't already. Her email made me smile and feel GREAT!

I immediately emailed Connie back with the following message:

"Well hi there Connie! Are you a member of NSA-CF?  I am but seldom get to the meetings – but if I know YOU are going to be at the next one – I'll try to come! AND – if you are a friend of Tami's – you must be wonderful. That's all I'm saying. LLOOXX Linda"

Today I got an email from Connie. This is the entirety of her message to me:

"Linda. We met in New Orleans. I recently joined NSA CF, but have not received any meeting info yet. I will follow up on. And get back to you. C."

So I need your feedback here.  I really do.  MY first instinct was that she wasn't very friendly. My second thought was that she was just in a hurry. My next thought was, well, you can be in a hurry and still be warm and friendly.  My NEXT thought was… uh oh, did I meet her in New Orleans and she's offended that I didn't remember her? I finally settled on the fact that she probably had no idea how she sounded in that email – AND, I wasn't particularly interested in meeting her. No animosity, no offense, no nothing except I just had no desire to meet her in person.  I wish her much success, but it pretty much stops there.

Would you be my voice of reason here? Is there another possibility I should be considering? Am I missing something?

I'll conclude with something I have said before and will probably say again. EMAIL IS A SLIPPERY SLOPE UPON WHICH TO SKI – or to communicate effectively. It takes a tremendous amount of EXTRA thought and conscious intention.  What might sound perfectly fine in your head can get horrifically lost in translation via email.

From your motivational speaker Linda Larsen, who really does need your input



Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. Hey Linda – let me start by saying I love your sensitivity!  I love how you reached out and were so friendly in your words and puncuation! And, since you asked for it, here's my thought.  I looked like based on her brevity that she was responding to you on her IPhone or IPad, or responding to you while on a conference call. I would look at it like she wanted to get back to you right away, and not put off until she had enough time to sit and compose something more friendly and thoughtful.  I wouldn't cut her off just yet, I would let go of any attachment to what's been written and let the ball stay in her court.  You made an offer to go to the next meeting if she were there, so if she gets back to you again and asks for meeting info or tells you she indeed has registered, than great.  If you never hear from her again, that's cool too because you are letting go of any attachment to it.  

    I'm like you in many ways – I want people to show their happy, enthusiastic self all the time and when they don't it hurts my feelings.  But there are some people who are so slammed, I get a one word or one sentance reply on e-mail  – then big hugs and kisses when I see them in person.  

    Do keep us posted on what transpires!

  2. I hear you, Marilyn. Good thoughts!  And – to be clear – I didn't get my feelings hurt.  That one didn't really occur to me. I did consider a whole bunch of other stuff thpough.

    But I LOVE your perspective and will just let it sit. If I hear back from her – great!  If not – that's okay too!

  3. Linda, I'm not sure anyone can match your enthusiasm – online or off. And not many people are skilled at changing their behavior to match another person's. You're about one of the most chipper communication speakers I know. So this person might just be a to-the-point person. She may have been in a hurry. Or she could be miffed at your for some reason. Or she's just not very nice. Who knows. It could be anything – we just don't have all the information. You have made an effort, and I would leave the ball in her court to follow up. Who knows, she may follow up and be dripping with sweetness. Or not. And then you can decide whether it's worth it to pursue the friendship.  (And by the way, I would have been a little put off by the email too. I'm just saying.)

  4. Connie reminds me of how my sister communicates in email. Cathleen (sis) would excel on twitter. To the point, clear and direct. Yet in person, she is so deep and poetic you'd never know it's the same person. Either way, adore you for being the incredible, spunky, happy, inclusive deep, deliious woman you are for reaching out like you do.

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