In our fast-paced, media-driven, information saturated society, communication is an important part of who we are. Considering how important communication is, one might think that we would work harder at getting better at it, but that’s not the case. When we consider social media, email, and other digital means of communication, we have to work harder at communication considering that there are so many possible opportunities for misunderstanding and misconstrual.
Personally, one of my mantras has always been, “Never send your first email.” I’ve realized the need to check and edit myself before sending things out. My first reaction and response email is usually not fit to be sent out, so I have to step back and think and assess before I send something out to ensure that I am communicating as clearly as possible.
The title alone of Emerson Eggerichs’ latest book “Before You Hit Send” drew me in. I was curious what the “Love and Respect” author would have to say about communication. Having experienced my own mishaps in communication, the subtitle, “Preventing Headache & Heartache,” was even more appealing to me.
While the book title alludes to digital communication, Eggerichs speaks more broadly to communication in various forms, writing and speaking predominantly. Eggerichs tells his reader that there are four questions that need to be asked prior to communicating: Is it true? Is it Kind? Is it necessary? And Is it clear? The book contains only four chapters, one for each of these questions.
Breaking a 200+ page book into four chapters presents one major problem: very long chapters. While I understand Eggerichs rationale in breaking the book up this way, there were enough sub-sections within the chapters that he could have broken them into individual chapters. Since he did not break up the chapters as such, the chapters end up about fifty or sixty pages long each, making it difficult to find good stopping points along the way for those who like to read chapter by chapter.
Each chapter begins with a lengthy Scriptural Meditation on the topic at hand. Eggerichs uses examples, both personal and otherwise, to speak about true speech, kind speech, necessary speech, and clear speech. He takes the reader through some of the typical culprits against each of these topics, listing them out with brief descriptions of each one. Then Eggerichs addresses each of these offenses with possible responses when we encounter those who communicate in the ways that he laid out.
As mentioned earlier, this book is not specifically about email and written communication, but all communication. The information shared by Eggerichs is valuable information for everyone who communicates, which is pretty much all of us. Despite the lengthy chapters, the information in “Before You Hit Send” is organized in such a way that this book can easily act as a resource and handbook on communication. The reader can flip to a section that may be specific to a situation with which they are dealing.
“Before You Hit Send” is a good resource for anyone who wants to be intentional in how they communicate. If we are honest with ourselves, we will probably find ourselves as culprits on some of the lists that Eggerichs shares. Whether we struggle in communicating truthfully, kindly, necessarily, or clearly, this book can help us on the road towards better communication.
(This review is based upon a copy of this book which was provided free of charge from Booklook Bloggers. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.)