Email as a Tool for Graceful Clarity

email 200It’s pretty much an unwritten rule that you don’t address issues in email. So why have I been doing just that?

Because I differ. When conversations touch hot buttons and get confused, email provides Space for Grace – space where grace can enter in between the trigger and the reaction. It also provides a record of what was actually said so the people involved can go back and see just where the conversation got derailed. That allows for course corrections at specific points of confusion.

What I don’t “approve of” is when people hide behind email. For example, sending an email that states your position and closes with “enough said” is controlling and counter-productive. If I raise a potentially touchy issue in email, I make sure to communicate my willingness and desire to speak in “real-time” – either face-to-face or by phone. 

Tomorrow I meet with someone after a series of emails addressing a challenge in our working relationship. The emails have given me the clarity to know what I want and need moving forward and the specifics to prepare to respond effectively should we meet resistance. I have studied the points of confusion and developed clarity. I have studied the points of promise and am ready to build on them. I know what I am willing to accept and what my options are should we not reach understanding. 

I told her I believed we could get past this, and I do. As one of my preparation resources, I have immersed myself in the most beautiful song imaginable. It’s the Prayer of Saint Francis by Simon De Voil. I recently sent it to a Community Member when she was triggered and she said it “took her out of herself.”  It expanded her perspective of the situation. It’s a great balance to the focused part of my preparation.

You can download the song without charge at Simon De Voil’s site. I post the simple lyrics below. Yes, it’s a prayer. If that’s not your thing, I invite you to translate it into a form that can inspire you. Just be sure to do the footwork, too. 


Lord make me a channel of your peace
grant that I can see through my human pain
and still feel loved
And in the darkness
let light be found in there

Lord make me a channel of your peace
we all need to learn to forgive
a few more hundred times
Melt our hatred
let love take root in our hearts

Lord make me a channel of your peace
through my own pain and need
let me learn to understand
Reach through our sadness
let it be joy
Lord make me a channel of your peace


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