Did you get my email?
Oh. Your response must have gotten lost in cyberspace.
No, I haven’t responded yet. I was in the middle of something.
Uhm. Ok. It’s been over an hour. Please respond now!
This was an exchange over IM a while ago with a co-worker. She was not a patient person when it came to waiting for a response. She always responded immediately and didn’t understand why others didn’t do the same. At the time I thought she was ridiculous. Be patient! She started calling me the Non-Responder, which always made me laugh.
And now I find myself in a similar place. Not with impatience but frustrated with a lack of response. I understand the onslaught of emails the average person gets on a daily basis. 122. When reviewing your emails, I encourage you to prioritize those that need to be
- Addressed today
- Addressed tomorrow
- Read at a later point
- On hold, i.e. waiting for additional information, or a response from someone else
You can also create other categories within your top priorities. For example
Now that you know how to deal with emails I make a request: Respond to those you have a relationship with. Those you’ve spent time, resources, and energy on. Those who have spent time, resources, thoughtfulness, brain space, and energy on you.
This is really where my frustration and impatience comes through. In my business, I am always talking to people who want to do more with their careers and perform at their peaks. They are frustrated, eager, and driven. In speaking with them, I demonstrate my knowledge and value. I regularly hear from people they feel calmer, less anxious, and have ideas on what to do next after speaking with me. This is in my nature and it feels great to give this to someone else.
I spend time with people. We discuss working together. I send materials, proposal, resources. And I follow up with phone calls and emails to determine next steps.
And every once in a while, communication suddenly stops. There is silence on the other end. No response. Seemingly with no rhyme or reason. This is my frustration.
Perhaps you’ve noticed this too – at work and at home. People don’t respond to invitations – whether to a weekend party or a wedding (yes, this happened to us!) What does this say about our society today? Are we really going that fast? That’s fodder for another blog…
Rather than silence, I recommend, rather request, a simple response:
“Thanks for everything you have shared. We are not able to move forward at this time working with you. We will keep your name top of mind for when we are able to. Thank you.”
That’s all. That took 24 seconds to type. Not such a huge request.