“Dear John: Essay Samples
Communication Lapses: Misunderstanding Message Contents
I am not a very expressive person when it comes to responding to messages but I am sincere in all of my responses. Sometimes, in an organization setting that is comprised of a large number of people, the best means of communication is something that is quick and convenient at the same time: e-mail. As part-time literary editor of an online writing agency, I get to receive confirmation messages from writers asking me for thoughts about their work. And so often I may have hurt their egos as my consistent replies are either a single word “fine” or a two-word phrase “It’s okay.” Because of this, I am often misunderstood by many writers as snobbish or uninterested. One time, one of my writers sent me a message confirming that she already sent her final draft for an economics research she was scheduled to turn in that day. The message reads:
I hope you are having a great time today. I just want to inform you that I
have already sent my final draft of the economics paper I am scheduled to turn in
today. I would ask you to please go over the paper intently and please tell me your
honest thoughts about it. Thank you in advance.
After reading the paper, I replied:
She then responded immediately and with a rather enraged tone, she messaged:
You’ve got a very meaty reply. I’ll really make a lot from it. Thanks anyway.
Well, I may have also misunderstood Sheryl but with the way her reply goes, it really seems like she’s totally disappointed with my thoughts about her research paper. First, Sheryl did not really ask me to edit her paper. I may have misunderstood her in this regard as well but it was quite clear that she only asked for my thoughts about the paper. As I said, I am not too expressive about my thoughts, especially in e-mails or even in text messages. Sheryl may have thought I was too interested to read her article based on my short reply. But I was actually captivated by it. She has really delivered her thoughts well in her research paper but like I said, I am not the most expressive guy out there. She might have contemplated that because my answer was short, I did not give enough time to review her paper but it is not true. I think that we have misunderstood each other.
After the incident, Sheryl did not send any messages to my e-mail anymore. I know she was very upset with the way I replied to her message. She might have expected a lot from me. Consequently, of course, it took strain on my ability to effectively deal with my subordinates. I would have to admit that I was at fault. As a literary editor, I must have provided her with a rewarding review of her research paper since I really found it interesting. I also realized that my manner of replying to messages significantly reduces my qualification as a literary editor. I thought that I am not supposed to be in this position. However, I am also open to apologizing to Sheryl and to change the way I reply to e-mails.
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