It was a late Friday afternoon, and I was trying to wrap up a long and grueling week full of proposals and crazy deadlines. A forwarded email from my teammate landed in my inbox. I considered leaving it unread until Monday morning; however, I decided to open the email and read it. My teammate stated, “I am stunned at the thoughtfulness of this update (with an astonished face emoji).” In the rest of her response, she wondered what other offices send updates like this? I decided to scroll down to the forwarded message and read it.
Even though I was not one of the intended recipients, I proceeded to read the entire email word-for-word. The email started with “Happy Friday All!” Automatically, I could feel the warmth and goodwill intended for the recipients. I met the writer in person last year when I traveled to that office and had since participated with him on a few Microsoft Teams proposal calls. He is always collaborative and helpful, so I was not at all surprised by his upbeat email. The email had two main sections: 1) some highlights from the week and 2) around the neighborhood and our office.
The highlights from the week consisted of project updates and quick status reports. It also included business development activities as well as new project wins. There were a lot of staff kudos and shoutouts to office team members and others from marketing to accounting. As a marketer, I’m always on the hunt for project information and data. The quick recap provided glimpses into project team composition including contractors and architects. The email reminded me of a neighborhood newsletter, with information on local happenings like discounted ski lift tickets and upcoming office events.
It was a well-written, upbeat, and positive email. The email concluded with an update on charitable giving in response to the recent mass shooting in the neighboring community. The writer ended the communique with words of kindness, thoughtfulness, and encouragement: “To close out this week, let’s hug those in our circle a little tighter, be present in the moment with those around us, tell those in your life what they mean to you and how you appreciate them, forgive and forget, practice a random act of kindness, and smile. We can give all of these away for FREE.”
Those words nearly brought tears to my eyes and made me think of the recent events as well as the pandemic. Every one of us communicates with and through our community, neighborhood, family, friends, and coworkers. You never know who will read your emails or whose life you’ll touch so always think before you send—because your words can make a huge impact.
Article written by Kim Thompkins, FSMPS, CPSM. Kim is director of proposals for Cumming Corporation and sits on the SMPS board as at-large director.