Dear Memorandum


November 17, 2013 by Brad Currie

Dear Memorandum,

I wanted to take this opportunity to explain how disappointed I am in you from time to time. The message you send is puzzling and quite frankly robotic-like. I wonder if the right approach is to actually stop by and speak with the person or better yet pick up the phone and explain your reasoning behind a decision. You would save so much time and gain a tremendous amount of respect if you were more human-like. The tone and negativity you create with your top down message damages workplace culture.

Believe me, I understand where you are coming from in trying to send a clear message to a group of people or a particular individual. But maybe, just maybe there is a better way. You may want to consider reading Todd Whitaker’s Shift the Monkey to gain a better perspective on the damage your message may create with others who conduct themselves appropriately. There is also a mind set where everyone is treated as if they are good. Don’t assume that the reasoning behind your message is to slap the person on the wrist especially if they are unsure of what they did to deserve your presence.

The whole idea is to constantly maintain an environment of respect even if there are disagreements or mistakes. Honestly, your message becomes less impactful when it is over-utilized for every instance of what is perceived as not being done by the book. Unfortunately, the person who drafts your message influences those around them in ways unimaginable. Then as a result, more people become negative and abrupt in their approach to others. Maybe next time, before you are disseminated, you can jump out from your piece of paper and ask the writer if it is really necessary to relay the message. A face to face interaction could help remedy the situation instead. That’s my two cents anyway.


Brad Currie

3 thoughts on “Dear Memorandum

  1. mrspepe2013 says:

    How about about an Augmented Reality Memorandum — that would jump right off paper and be more personalized…

  2. I had a Headmaster at my first school that used to “discuss” issues he had with you in faculty meetings, never saying your name, but offering enough information so you were shamed in front of all your colleagues. Not good. So I appreciated your words about the proper way of addressing an issue.

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Brad Currie

Brad Currie

Brad Currie is the Middle School Dean of Students and Supervisor of Instruction for the Chester School District in Chester, NJ. He is the co-founder and co-moderator of #Satchat on Twitter. Brad is passionate educational technology and social media in the school setting.

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