Britney Spears song came into my mind as I opened my LinkedIn and read the first mail.
I’m Erasmus not Brian as I wrote back to the Guru, Coach and Speaker.
I’ve been in such situation where I addressed the RIGHT person but with the wrong name (or I cut and paste the content) from elsewhere.
There are 3 things going here.
- The discussion is the same from receiver 1 to receiver 100. Therefore chances of such an error to occur is normal.
- In real life, we make the same mistakes. We call out the wrong name to the Right person. Nevertheless this awkward moment is a big mistake and we should address our weaknesses instead of saying, “we all make mistakes”.
- The systems that are supposed to help us, just failed to behave the way we want it!
Here’s an example how. As you transfer cut-n-paste pictures from MS-Paint to the latest Facebook message, at times the raw picture (of your entire computer) is immediately posted without you having to look at it, approve and send. So basically you send other things in your picture that is totally unrelated to the discussion.
How can we get better from here:
- Gentle reminders and corrections. Sure, we all make mistakes, so now we have to rectify the mistakes. Give the person who makes the mistake a small break and listen to what he/she has to say.
- A few days ago, I was invited to join a group of people who are with a chinese school Board of Governors. A man much older than me, kept addressing me by name, “Koay, Koay, Koay” for each action related to me. I’m wondering why this man was so attached to my name. When, it was my turn to ask him for something, I looked up and stared blankly. What was his name again? Embarrassingly I had to ask him for an introduction, again. Well, lesson taken – learn from the elders.
- Start from scratch. If you have a very good idea and you would like to get someone’s interest.
Write the letter as though you are talking to someone, after you have done what you said. Including reading the person’s resume, 30-page proposal and so on. Confirm his/her name and do not say what you did not do.
If you are not sure, then use the generic, Dear Sir/Madam.
Good luck… writing to me. 🙂