Can you relate to initiating an act of kindness having been the recipient of a similar action? Well, over the past 18 months I have been a benefactor of a style of communication that I have highly appreciated, and this has inspired me to endeavour to replicate such valued behaviours.
My inspiring role model has been my colleague and friend, Sue. Her special skill (among many!) is her ability to promptly and effectively acknowledge, affirm, and validate our communications – be it texts, emails, or messages.
Whilst this isn’t a complex skill, it is an act that requires consistent care and discipline. I like to pride myself on my communication, but unfortunately I regularly fall into a sizeable trap that brings me undone. For me, the trap normally appears in the form of an email, generally from a mentor, or friend, or acquaintance that requires some consideration and effort in crafting an appropriate reply. I am motivated to reply, but often the email is not of a pressing nature and therefore it can fall somewhat down the email list. Sadly, on occasions, when I get around to replying, it requires considerable scrolling or searching to locate the email!
I’m not sure if you can relate, but for me as the days go by without my reply, my feelings of guilt lead me to want to craft an even more comprehensive reply, which of course I don’t have time for right at the moment. And so more days go by, and then an even more impressive reply needs to be sent, which of course I don’t have time for, and I suspect you can see the bind I have caught myself in!
Back to Sue! To me it feels that regardless of what’s on Sue’s plate, and regardless of the nature or complexity of the email, Sue is simply awesome at warmly acknowledging it – and I whole-heartedly appreciate this. Sue recognises that the person communicating with her has put time and effort into the email, and if it is not possible to respond in detail in the present moment, then a brief reply acknowledging and thanking the person for the communication is required. Of course, a second discipline of then finding time to reply in more detail is required from Sue, which is simply another one of her many skills!
As yet, I haven’t established this skill, but there have been times due to Sue’s inspiration that I have given a prompt and warm acknowledgement. This has felt good to me and I imagine that it has been well received by the initial sender. It is a habit that I am hoping to build.
Thank you Sue for inspiring me and thank you to all of you who inspire others through your ongoing acts of kindness, no matter their size!