Prevent conflict escalation: use Google’s new Mail Goggles email tool

As anyone knows who has awakened in the sober light of dawn to regret an email sent in haste the night before, electronic communications can be lethal. Be too quick on the trigger with the “send” button and you may find you’ve initiated DEFCON 1 in your workplace or personal relationships. (And forget about negotiating by email, as Victoria Pynchon cautioned readers recently — its very nature seems to encourage anti-social behavior, including lying and deception.)

Google, understanding full well the dark side of human nature (particularly that side of human nature that responds to its email after too many Jell-O shots in the wee hours of the morning), offers a solution: Mail Goggles. Here’s how it works:

When you enable Mail Goggles, it will check that you’re really sure you want to send that late night Friday email. And what better way to check than by making you solve a few simple math problems after you click send to verify you’re in the right state of mind?

By default, Mail Goggles is only active late night on the weekend as that is the time you’re most likely to need it. Once enabled, you can adjust when it’s active in the General settings.

Mail Goggles may prove to be one of the world’s most powerful conflict prevention tools yet. It’s available on all Gmail accounts. Simply click on “Settings”, then “Lab”, then scroll down to “Mail Goggles” and select “Enable” to protect yourself from further embarrassment.

                        author

Diane J. Levin

Diane Levin, J.D., is a mediator, dispute resolution trainer, negotiation coach, writer, and lawyer based in Marblehead, Massachusetts, who has instructed people from around the world in the art of talking it out. Since 1995 she has helped clients resolve disputes involving tort, employment, business, estate, family, and real property… MORE >

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