Realtor (Realtor 2) Washington, DC

Business

Realtor (Realtor 2) Washington, DC

Date of Interview: March 31st, 2017

Transcript:

Q: Okay, so would please state your job title, where you currently work, and how long it’s been since you graduated from college?

A: Yeah. So my current job title is a realtor at the Bediz Group, under the Keller Williams Capital Properties banner, I guess, so to speak. I’ve been working in this field, in residential real estate, as a realtor for about five years. And I graduated college from RIT in Rochester, New York back in 2000, I believe, if I remember correctly [chuckles].

Q: And you had mentioned before we started the interview that you’ve worked in a few previous industries before this job – do you mind telling me a little bit about those, for some context?

A: Sure, sure. So again, my concentration in college was advertising photography, with a minor in psychology. So I got out of school doing a lot of different work, essentially, in the Washington, D.C. area, doing graphics, working as a production assistant on small-budget films, working as a production assistant on other people’s advertising jobs in photography, doing my own advertising, and doing my own photography. So basically, pretty much anything I could do to pay the bills [chuckles].

Q: Right. That’s great. And then, do you mind me asking how you got into realty?

A: I got into real estate actually through my photography. In my previous job to this one, just prior to this one, I wound up working in commercial real estate for about five years until I just decided I had to go. It wasn’t necessarily I was looking for a career shift, but I just didn’t want to stay with the company I was at.

Q: Gotcha, okay, great, thanks. Could you tell me a little bit about your primary job functions?

A: So my primary job function now essentially involves a lot of lead generation, in terms of networking with people. And then in terms of kind of like management, in terms of managing the process from – I’m a little overcaffeinated – managing the process from beginning to end in terms of – I’m spacing on the right phrase of how best to put that – but in terms of like project management, essentially. So once I take on a listing, in terms of scheduling all the contractors I’ve involved, and everything else that would be involved in terms of getting the property ready for the market, and then making sure we execute everything on time, as well as also have everything else set up properly, and all contracts and legal documents are signed off on and we’re clear to go, so that the property is fully marketable. And then once we are under contract, make sure that we clear through everything well enough to be able to execute the settlement on time and walk away with a happy client on both ends so that I can continue to get referrals from my current clients. So there’s that, and then on the other side, there’s also the office side where I’m dealing with staff in terms of trying to make sure that things are working on time, working with my graphics person to make sure that we’re getting adverts out in time, and effectively reaching people. I would say as I’ve gotten older, I probably fail more at– it takes me a while to communicate effectively to people. I sit down and I spend a lot of time making sure that my emails are clear and concise as best I can when I’m communicating to clients.

Q: Okay, great, great. How frequently are you required to write, if maybe in a given week, is it possible for you to give me a percentage of what, what percentage of your job requires writing?

A: Most of my writing is simply just emails. A lot of the contracts that we do are already kind of pre-filled out, and it’s a matter of just plugging in the right data and knowing what data– and also understanding the verbage. You know, they revise a lot of our contracts on a yearly basis, but they’re very small tweaks usually. So just understanding the verbiage and how we might want to tweak it if we need to, given a situation. Actually it’s really hard for me a lot of time to actually handwrite things, because I don’t spend much time handwriting, so when I do have to handwrite, it’s a little trickier for me. It’s weird, it’s a motor skill that has somewhat disappeared. I definitely can’t write legibly for the most part, I have to struggle to, if I’m trying to communicate and write someone a nice note card, it’s a struggle.

Q: I understand that, as someone who writes on the board periodically in class, I’ve found over the years as I handwrite less and less, that handwriting has gotten less and less legible for my students. Okay, that’s great. So what forms or types of writing or kinds of documents do you most often complete? So you talked about sort of contracts and emails, are there any other written documents that you work with?

A: A lot of texting, a lot of calls, so that’s not really writing, obviously. We do craft of adverts, I usually leave that to my graphics guy, when we’re creating new brochures or new handouts or any type of materials like that. And as I’ve painfully learned the other day, we still make mistakes, because I sent adverts out to Del Ray, and apparently we spelled Del Ray wrong [laughter], which is kind of embarrassing when you’re marketing to a specific market, and you’re saying, “Hi, hello Del Ray, and I own this area,” and then you apparently can’t spell it right. That doesn’t speak very well, professionally. To be honest, a lot of what I do is kind of already preformatted, so when I literally am doing long communications with people that’s very detailed, I usually will cut and paste from an old email or communication that I’ve had, in terms of if I’ve written a letter, or something like that. I literally just cut and paste sometimes, because it makes my job a lot faster and easier, and then just kind of tailor what I need to say specifically from that. So I’ve gotten quite lazy in that way, to do that. And I found myself doing that when I worked in commercial real estate – once I’d gone through the pain of making certain communications that I’ve needed to do that I’m going to be repetitive in, I’ve, literally, you just start copying and pasting and then kind of refiguring out how to retool your messaging through what you’ve already got as a basic outline, essentially.

Q: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. When you find that you’re sort of retooling those things, is it tone, or style, or just the details that you find yourself adjusting most often?

A: It’s just the use of the details. Sometimes it will be the tone, in terms of if I need to tailor it to a much more specific audience, in terms of who I’m trying to communicate, so they do feel like that this is a personalized communication. And I have had made a few mistakes I think, on rare occasions, if I’ve been trying to do an all-nighter, or something like that, sometimes in the busy season, where I will wind up not putting the correct name somewhere, or something that’s very obvious, where people are like, “Well, who’s that?” Oh, yeah. Like they’re like, “I’m not Charlie,” and I’m like, “Yeah, you’re definitely not Charlie, I got that. Thank you for pointing that out to me,” [laughter].

Q: That sort of leads nicely into the next question – so could you describe the primary audiences to which you’re usually writing, and the primary purposes?

A: I mean literally most of my communication is to other agents where we’re vying to secure, in a competitive situation, an offer. Essentially to secure the property that my clients would like to secure. So I draft up everything in terms of the documents and the offer, which include a little bit a cover letter for me where I have to personalize the sales pitch, and then I send that to my clients for them to review and sign off on everything, and then they also are included in the final communication, bcc’d, essentially, on the offer. So they see all of that communication a lot of times. So that’s a good bulk of what I’m doing. And then the negotiating factors – I like to get most of the negotiations done in writing so that we have a good record of things. And [inaudible 9:15] to the process, in terms of being under contract, if we’re still negotiating with various items, I still like to keep that in writing in terms of emails, essentially, to be able to keep a written record of where we’ve come, which has been helpful. I do that a lot because I’ve been in a couple of court cases over the years as well from various businesses where it’s kind of like, you learn that it’s best to have a written trail of your conversation and where things have led to.

Q: Interesting. Yeah, I would imagine your field that becomes really essential.

A: Yeah, yeah.

Q: Could you tell me a little bit about your writing process? So is there any sort of preparation or brainstorming that goes into a typical writing project? Or do you just sort of sit down? I imagine most of your work is pretty time-sensitive, so–

A: Yeah, if I have to craft up something that’s going to be a little bit more creative, and I’m going to sit down with my designer, I try and think, “What’s the message?” Because I know that I’m not very good at this, I do a lot of kind of repetitive, where I’m going back and, “Did I actually convey the message that I’m trying to convey as concisely as I can and there won’t be any confusion?” And that’s a problem I feel like with a lot of communication, from texting to emails – everyone’s in a hurry and we’re doing it quickly, and there’s a lot of room for error in terms of clarity, in terms of the communication. So there’s a lot of the ambiguity and vagueness I feel like in today’s communication, and in my business, the more I can eliminate any ambiguity and lack of clarity, the better off I am in terms of making sure that we get the end results. Where I’ve had other agents sometimes where they’re like, “Oh, well I thought it was this,” and I was like, “Actually, if you go back and read the verbiage, and if we ever had to take it to court, it’s very clearly stated what our intent is and what the expectation for the end result would be.” So, it’s to my benefit to be as clear and concise as I can to get the results that I want.

Q: Absolutely. Right, right, and it’s interesting because you’re writing to this immediate audience, and then the audience that’s bcc’d, but you’re also sort of thinking about that potential worst case scenario audience of like a legal situation.

A: Exactly.
Q: Yeah, that’s really interesting.

A: Because a lot of what I do relies on kind of a lot of faith in reputation, and so when you, I don’t know, it just relies on that. So when that’s not happening, then you have to revert back to it in a worst case scenario, what do we have, and we have this written communication, and how clear and concise was everything laid out in that, which ultimately, if I ever had to go to court, and I guess that’s kind of the way I always look at it is, if I ever had to go to court, this is exactly where we had, you know, battle out between two attorneys, this is where we would land essentially.

Q: Right. Yeah, that’s really interesting. Do your documents go through multiple drafts or multiple revisions, or is it usually just a sort of, one shot and it’s done?

A: Since most of what I’m doing is kind of cut and paste in terms of cover letters or– so when we do get under contract, and then my clients find a whole bunch of issues with the property that they want to have resolved before they feel like they can move forward, I make the verbiage very clear and concise and kind of go back and I have to research sometimes products, and understanding the process of what it would take to get something done, so that I can understand how to clearly communicate what we want done, and how it should be done, and what the final expectation is. So sometimes I have to kind of go back and review and like, “Does that make sense? Is that actually what it’s called? Is that the process?” Yeah. I don’t know if that helped. Did that answer your question?

Q: It does, it does, perfectly, yeah. And this obviously will vary from writing to writing project, but how long do you typically have to complete an average writing project?

A: Most of what I do is very time-sensitive, and so I don’t usually have a whole lot of time to get anything done, so that’s also probably why I wind up reverting to just cutting and pasting [inaudible 14:15], because I can more effectively piece things together, better than if I had to sit think there and think what do I want to say from beginning to end, and how do I want to have the conversation flow in terms of what I’m writing. When I’m making an offer, like an hour to two hours, maybe? But a lot of that’s filling in contracts and making sure I have all the pieces of the contract that I need. So I don’t know, yeah.

Q: That’s fine, that’s useful, that’s really useful. What is at stake in your writing? You’ve talked a little bit about repercussions, but could you describe what’s at stake in an average writing project?

A: Well, I mean, the end result could be my job or my reputation [chuckles], in the sense that if I leave any liability for my clients in the end of the day, they could be financially liable, which could come back on me, which would result in likely, eventually ruining my reputation in the business, which I don’t want to do [laughter]. So it’s not quite as serious, you know, I think of all my friends who are attorneys, it’s not quite as serious as that, but it certainly is because this is a large investment that people are making, and there’s no room for error in timing and/or expense. I mean, who wants to pay for someone else’s mistake? And I do know somebody in the business who, they actually had to buy a house because they left their clients liable and to make up for the mistake, they literally bought the house, which put them in a huge financial bind.

Q: Wow. I can imagine [laughter]. Wow!

A: And I think that was a way probably to avoid getting charges filed against them.

Q: Oh, interesting. Okay. Does anyone oversee your writing?

A: We do have a legal compliance department within our brokerage, and their job is to make sure that we’re all buttoned up in terms of being legally liable. So make sure that we have all the correct forms, that we have all of our initials and signatures where we need them, that everything’s flowing in terms of the contracts and that we’ve completed. And even down to the point where it looks like we’re facing a potential court case with somebody who has not done what they’re supposed to do, and I need to button up everything and make sure we’ve got our ass covered, essentially, in that manner. And the same thing in my previous job, when I worked in commercial real estate for a major corporation, I would always work with HR and legal to make sure that everything I was doing was in compliance, my messages were very clear and concise, and that we were following all the procedures needed to make sure that we were not putting ourselves at risk in terms of being sued or liable for something. Because I oversaw about 20 people, essentially, in my previous position where I had to make sure, whether it’s an HR issue or something else we were doing was clear. And then even prior to that, I managed a health club for five years as well, an executive health club, so overseeing a staff of about 50 people.

Q: Okay, that’s so interesting. So, especially because you’ve had sort of a pretty varied career in the past 15, 20 years, have you had any training or education specific to writing since you graduated from college?

A: No, and I consider myself a horrible writer, actually [laughter]. So that’s why I probably spend more time at it. I think if I ever got back into a more corporate, professional environment, I think I would definitely struggle with that for a while. But it’s fine, I think it’s like the same as when I got there to my last job. I would spend a good amount of time making sure I was fully prepared for the things I needed to be prepared for, whether it was a court case or whether it was a meeting, or a presentation. So I would probably spend more time than maybe some people would, because I don’t think I had the background that I needed. I had the tendency to put off classes and lessons that I didn’t think were pertinent to me at the time, so starting as early as probably middle school when we were supposed to learn how to type, I was like, “Why do I ever need to learn how to type? I’ll have a secretary that’s supposed to do that for me,” [laughter] – that was probably the worst idea I ever had, that was probably a dumb idea – that was a dumb idea. Because here I am in college, trying to basically peck at the keyboard trying to figure out how to type up these long papers and I’m like, “I don’t know really how to do this,” and even to this day, it’s finally come to me in the last probably 10 years of my life, me now being 40, where I can actually literally type, probably not as efficiently as need to if I was having to, I definitely am horrible at dictation if I have to read my writing or hear what someone’s saying and then type it, it’s not happening.

Q: That’s really interesting. So you’re sort of talking about this already, but the next question is what challenges did you face when you were entering the workplace? And that doesn’t need to be in this job, right, this can be right out of college. But I’m curious about what the writing challenges were, and what steps you took to try to overcome those early writing challenges.

A: I’m trying to think. So I know my last position I did spend a good amount of time looking at resources to try and figure out how do I do what. I even brought up the CEO of the company, just happenstance before I even knew he was the CEO of the company, that we needed better resources at the company, and they did try and link us to kind of like an online library of resources for classes and educational purposes, which is something that HR eventually took on to do where they wanted to help us learn more. And they did start teaching us and doing classes that was helpful, because I did a lot of stuff in my last two positions where I was having to recruit people into the company as well as then hire and train them, and then manage them. Actually there’s a great class at Keller Williams – they’re heavy on classes, and so was my previous position – we would take a lot of classes that the company would offer that I thought was very helpful in terms of– which doesn’t necessarily pertain to writing, but it certainly, I think that continuing education through your employer is very helpful, because I don’t think, had I had to do it on my own, I probably wouldn’t have done it. I mean basic books in terms of idiot guides to like how do you write– and even now, I would struggle if I would have to write a resume, I haven’t had to do it in 10 years, so I don’t know how [inaudible 22:12] [laughter]. It’s kind of like as idiotic as how long it took me to figure out how to do this Skype [laughter].

Q: No, no. Yeah, once you’re out of practice in those things, there is a big learning curve coming back to any sort of new writing, for sure.

A: Yeah. Did I answer your question? I can’t remember what it was–

Q: You did, you did, yeah. And what were the sort of strategies you undertook, and you said you went to the CEO and sort of embraced these classes and things like that. Are you able to identify a change in your writing between college and now?

A: Well I don’t write essays, so there’s that. I know a lot of times people tell me– I think I would struggle if I had to– like I was talking about my friend who’s an attorney who does a lot of work for manufacturers, I would definitely struggle. But then watching him do what he does, he tells me he kind of does a lot of what I do, you basically look for previous evidence of what you’re trying to do, and then you copy essentially that, and then reformat it to the specific needs of what you have at hand. I kind of feel like that’s kind of the era that we live in, where people are doing a lot of probably cutting and pasting, and it’s like okay, this works for what I need, and then I can just kind of fine-tune it down to what the purpose is.

Q: Yeah, absolutely. In fact, I would say 90 percent of the interviews we’ve done, people have talked about some form of that strategy, in some cases I think people feel very adept in adapting that text and making it feel personal, like we were talking about, and then other folks have voiced a struggle to maintain consistent style or tone, but that they sort of have to rely on that because of time constraints, as you were mentioning, which is interesting.

A: Yeah, but I definitely understand that. I don’t have a good baseline in terms of my educational upbringing, just in the sense that I was never interested in doing anything that I didn’t think was to my benefit at the time, which led to me not paying attention to a lot of classes or even attending classes that I probably should have attended. Just as basic as having a good understanding of proper grammar in a lot of contexts, in terms of, you know I sometimes sit and listen to my friends talk about some of this stuff, and it’s quite embarrassing. I’m like, “Wow, I really should have paid more attention,” and even today, but I have no, it’s like I don’t know what I would do to correct it at this point because it’s kind of like, “Alright, well,” and that’s probably maybe also why I spend more time on some of my communication than maybe I should be doing, just because I’m trying to make sure that it’s clear, concise. And God forbid, I have to actually handwrite a note to somebody, because then I have to think about the correct spelling of things, which I don’t do half the time. I love how our computers can just guess things most of the time.

Q: Yeah. So when you think back, you’ve talked about how you were really not especially interested in things that didn’t seem to have an immediate use for you in college, but were there writing skills that you did learn in college, that you found prepared you for writing in the workplace?

A: Technical writing was an interesting exercise, and I wish that– I mean I think what I got out of that is essentially that you have to remember, you know, it was kind of fun, you had to remember that if you didn’t write clearly and concisely in a very thorough manner, then someone could miss a step. I mean, technical writing is as simple as, you know, part of it’s like the instructions that people have like when you go to Ikea and you buy piece of furniture and you have to put it together, and you have to remember you’re not going to be there to help them do it, so those instructions have to be very clear, concise, and thorough from beginning to end, and how do you get there? And so that’s kind of a lot of times like my writing now – I’m starting off trying to figure out how to flatter somebody, lay out what the problem is, and then how do we want to get that resolved in the end, but being very friendly in my tone, but stern in the sense that there is an expected end result, and sometimes even consequential in terms of what would be the result if we didn’t have that. So you have to kind of flow that conversation in your writing in terms of figuring out how to keep that.

Q: Right. Can we go back to, you just said the first part of that was, was it flatter the reader? Can you tell me a little bit about that?

A: Yeah, I mean you want to– you have a goal of what you’re trying to achieve, and you want to grease the wheels, you want to keep things going. What are you looking for, or what more–?

Q: I just, I think that’s just one of those things that we all do but don’t articulate very often, so it’s interesting to hear you say that that’s like a conscious step that you’re taking. Does that make sense?

A: Yeah, so I learned in college from a friend of mine who was actually very manipulative that there is, you can kind of joke and go back to Star Wars force. If you’re very purposeful in your life on a continuous basis, which takes a lot of energy and time, you can almost always get what you want in the end, but you just have to be very purposeful about your message and your end result. Whether it’s communicating verbally in a situation, or in writing, but more so, he taught me more in the verbal sense of that. And it worked – I would watch him and it was like 99.9 percent of the time, it worked. So I kind of went with that. So that’s kind of what the use of the flattery is, you know? And at the end of the day, we all have to work together. I have to work with that person again, so I want to make sure that we’re keeping things friendly.

Q: Yeah, absolutely. That’s interesting, thanks.

A: I don’t know if that helped at all [laughter].

Q: It totally helps! Yeah, no, it’s just an interesting, you know, as I said, I think we all do some form of that, trying to establish a relationship as you are working with folks, but we don’t often articulate that that’s part of the goal of the communication because we’re usually more focused on the deliverable or whatever the decision is, right? So it’s sort of interesting to think about that as a secondary purpose, but something that’s always kind of underlying in those emails, in most industries, probably.

A: So managing people for years now, most of my life actually, I’ve learned that you have to do that, even in my verbal communication with employees, and I’ll admit I learned this probably later in my career, that you have to remember that people have feelings. Because I think I was always kind of very stern in my management style, not in terms of the sense that we’re– we’ve all I think had, unfortunately, the boss or the leader in our lives who, because they had pain in getting to their position in life, they want to make your life as painful as possible too, to get to your next step in life. I’ve always very mindful of that, I never did anything like that because I don’t enjoy being treated like crap, and I want to make sure people feel respected and understood. But at the same time, I guess I was also very like, “This is the task at hand, these are our goals, get it done.” And it would come down to, even on a daily routine and basis, my communication with employees and staff about stuff. And it wasn’t until later in my career, I remember one of my employees said to me, “Listen, you seem really very stern all the time.” And I was like, “Yeah, I’m not looking to be your best friend. We work together as a team, and I happen to be leading this team, and these are our goals.” And she’s like, “Well, it doesn’t feel good sometimes, the way you come off to us.” And I was like, “Oh, alright. Well that wasn’t the intention.” So I had to kind of reformulate, and I actually had private meetings with all of my staff to ask them what they wanted, what they were looking for. And they just wanted to have more friendly communication in terms of like, “Hey, how’s your wife? How’s the husband? How’s the kids? How’s your day? How’s the weather?” you know, that kind of stuff. And I was like, “Oh, okay,” [laughter], “I can try that. You want small talk, okay, fine.” So I learned to pepper that into my daily communication with people, and kind of let loose a little bit more, loosen up, I guess, more in the workplace. And I’ve actually done that, even in real estate I was very kind of rigid in the beginning of my career with the borderline of client expectations and then their client– you know, I’ve been hired to do a job, I’m doing something, I’m working and they’re my client, I’ve kind of softened that a lot, so we become friends. And that’s actually the most effective way to do my job actually, in terms of long term business. You want your clients to be your friend in the end of the day, if they can, or close acquaintances at some point, so that they feel comfortable to eventually want to pass your services on to their friends and family and colleagues and stay within their sphere of influence and circle of friends, to stay top-of-mind so that you can keep your business moving forward. Which is how I’ve kind of gotten to know Patrick, they hired to buy a house– they wanted to buy a house in Virginia, and it turned out that it was Old Town, but we’ve since become friends, so yeah.

Q: Right, right, that’s super interesting, especially this sort of conversation that an employee had with you and how lasting that impact can be after years. That’s really interesting. So, just a few more questions. In what ways would you say would you say you were unprepared as a writer, coming out of college into the workforce?

A: Again, kind of having a baseline of maybe how to clearly communicate. I mean there was a lot of creative writing in highschool and college, I wrote a lot of my papers spontaneously at the very last minute. It’s weird, the way I work, I don’t know if it’s– it’s changed a little bit, but the way I’ve worked for most of my life in terms of being able to write extensive communication, long, several-page essays, or reports, papers, was to absorb all of the information for a long period of time, and then just spit it back out in a large paper all at once as fast as possible. And then kind of go back and tweak it, and then done. I don’t think I could ever do what you’re doing in terms of being a PhD student [laughter]. Because I’ve known several people who’ve worked on their PhDs and stuff like that, and I have to say I don’t think I could stomach doing all that. So yeah, I think that, just even the baseline, but that really comes down to that being my own fault. The tools were there, I just didn’t take advantage of them. And I got called out by my professors. One of my favorite professors, she actually gave me an “F”, and that was the first time that I think I ever remember anyone saying, “Listen, you can’t just do what you want. This is exactly what I asked for, and you didn’t give it to me. You can smile and tweak it, paint it all different colors, but it’s still not what we asked for. So in the end of the day, you’ve achieved an F.” And I was like, “Wow.” And it was funny because even my classmates were like, “Well he did an amazing job.” And she was like, “Yeah, he did. But it’s not what I asked for so you [inaudible 36:08]”. And I was like, “Wow. That’s a first. Thank you very much,” [laughter].

Q: That’s interesting. So this next question, you kind of answered it earlier. Would you say you’re a successful workplace writer? You said you don’t consider yourself a good writer – could you tell me a little bit about whether you think that you’re ultimately successful though?

A: I’m successful in the sense that I get the results that I’m looking for most of the time, but I’d say the majority of the time, but I am not successful in the sense that, because of my struggles, I’m just horrible at time management sometimes. So that probably adds to my time management crisis or crunch sometimes, in terms of having to write.

Q: Okay. And last question – what skills would you say are must central to writing in your specific job?

A: What skills – I think this is more of a skill of life, it’s– in my career in photography, I had the opportunity to meet– and actually my upbringing is I guess kind of varied in that sense as well. I grew up very average, kind of on the lower scale of middle class, but had a interesting peppered life of adventure, and kind of being all over the place. So having the chance to connect with a lot of people that I may not connect with, or meet people – I shouldn’t say connect like we form long term relationships – but meet people. So I guess as more of a clear example to help out here, in photography, I would meet the president, I would meet CEOs of corporations, I would meet a lot of famous socialites, so sports stars, and usually had to hang out with them sometimes for an entire day. Which it’s funny, because I don’t think I do this well in some aspects, but to be able to just really connect with people is a core life skill that you need to have and a lot of times I think that people, we all have our insecurities and I think that that’s one thing that kind of gets in the way. Not to say I don’t have a whole stack of insecurities [laughter], like I hate to speak in front of people unless I know exactly what I’m talking about and I have a clear, concise path in terms of where I’m taking everyone in that conversation. But if I have to do a spontaneous, quick speech, sure, I’m happy to. Especially if I have to demand something of people in a large group, I tend to do that well for some reason. But I guess just keeping it short, connecting with people and creating an open environment and understanding I think is something that I do well and also goes into written communication as well because I– you know it’s funny, I think there’s always, I know at least working at an office when I used to work in an office, the culture of people would write these nasty emails and then you’d run into them in the hallways, and they’re like, “Oh, hi.” And it’s just kind of like, “Why would you do that? Why are you communicating this way? It’s not going to be conducive to what you’re trying to achieve in the end, you’re making everyone’s life more painful in the process.” So connecting with people is a huge life skill that should be applied in any kind of written communication as well.

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