By Jamie Mason Cohen, Resilience Speaker
Not always to say the right thing in the right place but far more difficult to leave unsaid the wrong thing in the tempting moment. – Benjamin Franklin
There is a time and place for a courageous conversation.
There is also a time to let the mud settle in our emotions and respond when the waters of our mind are clear.
In Abraham Lincoln’s desk drawer in the oval office, a large pile of vitriolic unsent letters was found.
Yet, Lincoln was known for his restraint and emotionally balanced public responses to criticism.
It turned out that Lincoln had a habit of writing angry letters to Generals who were demonstrating incompetence or undermining his Civil War plans.
BUT, he would store the letters securely away for 3 weeks. At the end of that period, if he still felt the way he did in the moment that he wrote them, he would send the letters. 90% of the time the letters were never sent.
The take-away: Initiating a difficult conversation is essential for healthy communication but so is knowing when not to send the letter.