So I get this shocking email late last night from a long time client that I thought was REALLY unhappy about their services, reading: "Hey Nate...just a f/u on our taxes."
At first, I have to admit that I was taken aback thinking, "What? Am I reading this right," straining to uncover what keys the client might have mistyped OR WORSE, that it means just what it says. Heart rate rises and traces the steps to see where I might have gone wrong. Then, practicing restraint, time boundaries, and patience, I decide to wait and respond in the morning.
With a fresh set of eyes, I messaged the client today to clarify what they meant by f/u, and got this response: "Yes Nate follow up is correct....sorry lol...we love you."
My relieved reply: "Love you too!"
Lesson for the day: Throw written communication assumptions out the window to mindfully (a) review outgoing messages, and (b) "follow up" on ambiguous incoming messages to clarify meaning. They can make or break your day, and equally, if not more important, reduce or eliminate otherwise awkward correspondences in your precious professional relationships.