Pushing Send Now… Oops!

In the era of instant communications: Email, Text, Podcast, Twitter, cable, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and perhaps dozens of others I’m not even aware of, an oft-made mistake is “pushing send” too early.

We see this on Twitter almost daily – with both the famous and infamous. Occasionally, it is followed by “so-and-so removed their post” but it is often too late because others have re-transmitted it far beyond the originally-intended audience.

Electronic communications is hard to read — not literally speaking — but understanding tone and intent. In a face-to-face conversation, you can see body language, hear the intonation, or simply observe the other party’s head explode. 

Not so easy in the electronic medium.

My own understanding of these various mediums is relatively benign – and perhaps boring to younger generations – but (I hope) I learned long ago to NOT “push send” when emotions are elevated. 

When an electronic exchange has a bit of an edge, it’s best to reflect on what, how, and when to respond. Learn where your “triggers are” and when and how to curb and control them. You will find it makes life much easier and communications will flow more easily.

Finally, you will see things differently if you can “sleep on it” and come back to something you drafted today…


Retired Major General Craig B. Whelden

Major General Craig Whelden,
U.S. Army (Retired)

Served 30 years in the Army followed by another nine as a member of the Senior Executive Service for the Marine Corps.

He is a global Fortune 500 speaker and the author of a three-time award-winning, #1 international best-selling book, LEADERSHIP: The Art of Inspiring People to Be Their Best.  He now resides in Bluffton, South Carolina.