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Using Your Internal Pause Button

Posted By Administration, Monday, June 3, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, June 4, 2019

I’m mad.

I can’t believe it.  Someone just did something so unimaginably awful and now I’m sitting in front of my computer shooting laser-eyes at the email I’m composing, pouring everything I have into it.  I press send and feel that euphoric high that comes with knowing I’ve had my say in the matter.  I sit back and relax, feeling better.

As my anger fades and my nerves settle, euphoria seeps into doubt.  Then reality takes a turn.  Did I say something I shouldn’t have? Did I overreact?  Why did I send that email?

Has this happened to you?  This scenario is common to many of us.  I’m ashamed to admit it’s happened to me more than once both sending and receiving such correspondence--growing thick skin is not the solution, nor is rolling with it.  I’ve learned some valuable tips to circumvent hurt feelings when it comes to ruffled feathers.   In any relationship you are eventually going to experience some level of anger. It might be a mild irritation, it might be pure rage and anything in between. It is natural. Different people see things differently. Mix in some human emotions and individuals clash—leading to some level of anger from one, or both, sides. It can happen at home or at work.

What can you do about it before it escalates to something you might regret later? 

Go ahead and write the email.   Start composing a new email and enter only the body.  Doing so is a way to work through any negative feelings.  To make sure you don’t send it, do not enter the “To” field.

After that, press your internal pause button.  Save the email.  Close the email and walk away.  Give yourself some time to cool down and see if you feel differently about the situation.   Let it settle overnight.  Chances are the you will see things more clearly and be able to reassess the situation better.

After a chance to ponder it, decide if sending the email you’ve written is a good idea. 

If you’ve changed your mind, print it out and delete it.  The print-out is to have a memory of how you felt in the heat of the moment which can be helpful later and can be used to learn from the situation.

If you have not changed your mind, keep that “pause” button pressed and do the following:

  • Do your homework – you might “think” you are absolutely right about how you saw the situation, but make sure you have the facts right.  There could be something to the situation that you might not be aware of.
  • Talk to someone – preferably, someone who knows both sides of the story. This will help give you a different perspective on the whole problem and might cause you to re-think your actions.
  • After doing the above, reread the email.
  • Don’t say anything that you wouldn’t say in person – Imagine you are in the same room with the other person when you write your email. If you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t put it in your email.
  • Stick to the facts.  Be objective.
  • Keep it short – the longer the email, the more personal it will sound.Avoid sarcasm.
  • Send a personal message – don’t copy any third parties, send an individual email. If you have a problem with more than one person, send each one of them a separate email, even if you are saying the same thing.
  • Think long term – it is more important to win the relationship, than win the argument.

After you’ve reviewed and revamped your email, reread it.  If necessary, have someone else read it.  If you still want to send it, press the “Send” button. 

What to do if you have already sent an email fueled by anger – OWN IT.  Acknowledge the mistake. Egos heal.  Mine did and I can tell you I felt much better in the long run. The worst thing you can do is avoid the person who received your email or pretend like it didn’t happen.

Apologize and mean it.  This will help alleviate the situation and it may even make the relationship between both sides much stronger.

In short, when overtaken by anger, it is always best to externalize your feelings by writing them down. Don’t send what you wrote before you’ve had some time to cool down and reassess the situation. Hit your internal pause button.  If you still think sending the email is the way to go, remove any tone of anger, make it objective, short and think long term about what this email can mean to the relationship before you send it.




Anne McNeely, CDFA is an Associate and Project Administration Manager
for Fentress Architects in Denver, Colorado.She currently serves as the
SDA National Secretary for the 2019-2020 term.

Tags:  SDA  Sending Email When Angry 

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SDA National President's Message - May 2019

Posted By Administration, Sunday, May 12, 2019
Updated: Monday, May 13, 2019


SDA National President, Susan Lankey, CDFA shares her final message of her 2018-2019 term.

Tags:  President's Message  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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Welcome to Our Newest SDA Members

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 2, 2019
Updated: Thursday, May 2, 2019

Please join us in welcoming our newest SDA members:

First Name Last Name Firm Chapter
Eunoh Lee Mackenzie Seattle
Jennifer Newman Studio KDA Northern California
Mary-Brett O'Bryan Ralph Appelbaum Associates New York
Tracy O'Such Clark Nexsen Atlanta
Danielle Salvador KFW Engineers San Antonio
Terri Simms KPG, P.S Seattle
Denise Skelton Valhalla Engineering Denver
Georgeanne Smith KPG, P.S Seattle

Be sure to connect with our newest members on SocialLink and encourage them to join in our many discussions!

Tags:  New Members  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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Networking for Introverts

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 25, 2019

I hope many of you are getting excited to attend EDS19 – it’s right around the corner! Being a heightened introvert, once I start thinking about a Conference my hands start sweating, I often get a headache and my heart starts beating quickly! Perhaps some of you have these same kinds of feelings.

Well colleagues, rest easy!! EDS19 is a GREAT opportunity to network with a terrific group of Seasoned Professionals that are also your friends. There will be so many chances to be in structured environments where you can start conversations about an industry that you are all so familiar with! What a fabulous place to test the waters and have fun all at the same time!

I recently came across an article in Forbes Magazine by Andrew Vest about Networking. He says that in its purest form, networking is about people enjoying other people, communicating passions and connecting with others who share those passions. This is exactly what EdSymposium offers each of us! One of the amazing benefits we each realize from our membership to SDA is the opportunity to share passions with those that work in the same industry. You are the subject matter expert in your role at your firm. There is immediate comfort with having the ability to speak from the heart, with confidence that your knowledge is powerful. Additionally, your knowledge quite possibly can help someone else do their job even better. SDA is a group of people that want to help for the betterment of all – this is a great foundation to have a conversation with all SDA members. Share common conversation; get to know about their interests; share insights that have helped you in the past; continue building genuine relationships.

A few other thoughts about jumping into the Networking fun:

Fundamentally, everyone in the room is your equal. No one is unimportant, and everything your colleagues have to say is worthwhile on some level.

  1. Be present to each person in every conversation you find yourself during any common time throughout the Conference. Really listen to people. There is always some useful nugget of information you can take away – consider those nuggets of information your bag of goodies! Share your insights – remember that what you say is equally important.
  2. Have sincere eye contact with people all the time. There is nothing worse than having a conversation with someone and see the other person glaze over and not really be paying attention to what you are saying. If you are the listener, don’t be trying to think about the next question you are going to ask. Pay attention to what’s being said right there, in that moment. Look the other person in the eye and really hear what they are telling you. Don’t be looking around the room trying to figure out how you can get out of talking to them or where else you can go to start your next conversation.
  3. Think about connecting the dots of your networks. Each of us brings knowledge and relationships to EDSymposium – even if you are a first-time attendee, you bring new and fresh insights to whatever your conversation is about. Think about who you know in your network that might have a connection to someone else that might share a similar problem; or use the same software to handle their work; or is going through an upgrade you or someone you know has gone through; or has the same kind of pet; or lives in the same state; or has tried the same restaurant. The list of ways to connect your relationship dots is endless.
  4. Bring your business cards with you. Exchange them with people. Plan to follow up with people after EDS19 is over. Drop a quick email and say hello. Ask them how things are going. Pick up the phone and have a quick call with someone to ask how that upgrade went. Do something to continue your conversation. That is one of the best possible ways to grow and enhance your network!

There is no question about it, SDA provides us the best possible venue to have a highly successful networking experience. Join us at EDS19 to take advantage of getting to know your industry colleagues! If not this year, plan to attend EDS20! Try networking – you won’t regret it!

What are some tips that you have to offer about in-person networking events? Share them in the comment box below.

Marie Tamala, CDFA is an Associates and the Data/Project Analyst at
Cuningham Group Architecture in Minneapolis, MN.

 She currently serves as the 2018-2019 SDA National Secretary 



Tags:  EDS19  Networking  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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SDA National President's Message - April 2019

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 18, 2019
Updated: Thursday, April 18, 2019


SDA National President, Susan Lankey, CDFA, brings you her April 2019 update from the great outdoors. Check out the latest video blog (Vlog) with her co-star Oakie!

Tags:  President's Message  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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