The ease with which an email can be sent, and the rush to move on to the next task, can be a dangerous combination. The result can be emails that fuel the fire rather than move the process forward.

So, if you haven’t read the sender’s entire email and understand the message, pause before you write a reply and hit send.

  • Don’t reply or send if you’re feeling cranky, contrarian or adversarial.
  • Don’t send if your reply is a reflex-response driven “NO!”
  • Don’t reply if you’re reacting to a desire to get out of doing work.
  • Don’t hit send if your email is really aimed at punishing someone, proving them wrong or putting them in their place.
  • And, depending on your generational identity, don’t send if your message requires more than you’re comfortable typing out on your phone.
  • Finally, don’t send until you check the “To” and “CC” fields to make sure the appropriate people will get the message.