January 31, 2018

Hey David … This one is personal and hard to write. I just got an email that seems to say that I wasn’t on a project any longer. I’m totally shocked. I thought that I was the project leader and now they are bringing in another person. I’m pretty mad and hurt. Thoughts for me?

DRF—In reading your email, your Senior Pastor didn’t say much, just two lines. What he said was ambiguous. It all turns on one verb. The email was as clear as mud. I’d suggest not attributing motive or making an accusation. Why don’t you just reply with a simple question, such as, “Could you expand on your thoughts?”

Follow up—So, the Senior Pastor clarified his thoughts and his original email was poorly worded. Instead of ousting you, he was trying to laud your leadership. Email is tricky as the fingers sometimes type faster than the brain thinks. Here are take-away principles: Ask simple questions for clarification. Don’t assume motive. Don’t return fire with fire. Treat others as you want to be treated.