In People Gardening, seeds are words or actions meant to convey some message. The power of the word can be strikingly different for you and for me. I realize that there are temptations to send off an email where you think that you are spouting some wisdom or some thought that you think the other reader might “want” to hear but are you spreading the right kind of seeds that you want to grow with other people? By that I mean that in my People Gardening world and hopefully yours too, you choose your words wisely. If you don’t, the seeds you are sowing may end up being weed seeds and not the flowering seeds you intended.
We all know that there are the unwritten rules of ALL CAPS meaning a bad thing, and words in red are just as powerful in a negative way. Either way you, the reader, comprehends that the message being conveyed is not positive and what the writer has to understand is that there are consequences for their choice of words and the manner in which the message is sent.
I understand the ease of which we become comfortable with social media to vent out our frustrations. We see that with the way we share our posts, the groups we are joined in on, etc. However what I’m seeing in the office setting is that we are not being nice to each other, to our coworkers. It would be much more prudent for the writer to re-read their own message before it is being sent to ensure that the message cannot be received in an unintended manner. In other words, there are consequences for the things we say because as we all know you cannot take back the words once they are published. They are written forever and may be used against you.
Moreover, words hurt. The old adage about “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is a lie. Words do hurt and they hurt way more than you realize. Until you are the one who receives those hurtful words you may never understand but it takes the bigger person to reread the email and make changes before hitting the send button.
As the receiver, of course there are a couple of different responses that you can take. For instance it would be easy just as in our social media ways to type up a quick response and fire that emotional response off. However, on the other hand, sometimes there is more power in not saying anything in response to unkind words.
The best advice I can give anyone about communications is to ensure that you take responsibility for your words – for the seeds you sow. Not to sound too Biblical but it is fitting paraphrase from Galatians 6:7, “You reap what you sow.” Unless you are intending to sow weed seeds, as my kids say when we are approaching a hill and they like that little roller coaster feel…Wait a minute….Wait a minute…Wait a minute….Ok, Send…