Lessons learned in W08/24

This weeks been pretty busy with operational stuff. But there were some challenges along the way.

The 4 sides model

I don’t know how often I already learned and heard about the 4 sides model from Schultz von Thun. This week was a classic example of how you can use this model to understand and evaluate the answers of your counter part. Especially when its an sent email from someone, where you don’t know his / her intention. You can only estimate what the other person was thinking writing it.

So, for me, if it’s an important topic I try to wait for my response some time, thinking about the intentions and the meaning of the message. You easily can come to a false conclusion and a topic can escalate to a full blown fight.

Before responding, ask yourself:

  • What is the primary goal of the other person?
  • What are his/her wishes?
  • What is the factual message?

Even if its only an E-Mail, the factual message can be misinterpreted!

This weeks example:

„…are you going to take over this topic?“

That sentence kept me thinking. And as you can see, it can be misinterpreted quite easily.

Is the primary goal of this sentence:

  • That I should take over ?
  • That he is annoyed I asked some questions about his field of experience?
  • is it sarcastic?
  • etc..

The wish is also not clear. Should I let him go, he can handle it or should I take over because he is swamped with other stuff, …

The factual message is just a question whether i should take over the topic or not.

I decided to respond only to the factual message, that I wont take, I just want to be informed.

Personally I think, its important to always try to only answer to the factual information in a way, that it can hardly be misinterpreted. That’s far more important in an E-Mail than in direct communication.


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