Charles Starrett


Blog, links, and…

Culture consultant & social tech teacher/facilitator at SoulCo & Northeastern University. He/Him. Dad, Harvard and NEC alum, visual thinker, dabbler in ukulele, electronic music, 한국어, and TTRPGs.


A tale of two emails

A tale of two emails: Two potential business partners who we’ve had conversations with. Two emails. Two very different impacts.

Yesterday one potential partner sent us an email that we knew he wrote from the heart. We could feel his enthusiasm, sincerity, and presence in the words. It wasn’t perfect or polished, but it didn’t matter. We felt seen and cared about, and were grateful to experience his human-to-human professionalism through the text.

Today another potential business partner sent us an email that he could have written to anybody. It was the archetype of the modern form letter, complete with “hip lingo” that he has never used with us in person, probably because of our age. (My using the term “hip lingo” should give you a clue of how old I am.) It felt artificial, unfeeling, and unprofessional.

The second email had more intimate and personal language, but the lack of caring in what was written left us cold. The language in the first email was more professional and focused on business, yet the caring it communicated felt warm.

All the tips and tricks in the world on “business communication” won’t help you if you don’t know how to connect with what you care about in the relationship. And chummy language doesn’t create connection on its own.

Businesses are built on relationships, and relationships are built on caring. We humans are remarkably sensitive creatures and we’ll know if you care, or if you don’t.

17 August 2022

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