[This was the comment to me yesterday, that sparked this post,! and yes, the person concerned was asking why I had not sent a report on Christmas day. I could have responded that I was up to my armpits in cooking dinner, opening presents, spending quality time with family & friends, but, instead I practiced what I mention below]
The obviously drives a certain set of responses, sometimes those of "oh heck, how am I going to respond to that?", "Reply All, xxxxxxx" - on e:mails, where people just fire off a response immediately after receiving the request.
The faster you respond, the faster people react. This becomes a vicious circle of rapid reactionary, non-thought through verbage.
The ability to step out of a particular situation, pause, reflect on what is being asked, before responding is a difficult, hard learnt, but a very useful skill to development.
I have learnt and am sharing with colleagues the concept of:
PRA - Pause; Reflect; Act
I have used this for a number of years and it works for me.
For E:Mails - I tend to not respond to e:mails immediately, rather leaving it to later in the day or even the following morning.Or if I am in the moment and have the thoughts to hand about the issue, I draft a response and leave them for up to 24 hours before I reflectively review the contents, check and adjust and then send
For Meetings - I tend to not just respond to the dialogue that goes on, but put a comment on a notepad and then quickly scan read, and then respond. If I am asked a questions, I tend to use the phrase "Can I just reflect on that for a moment?"
Everyone's approach is different and unique and mine are not the cure-all. Please feel free to share your approach.