This week I want to talk to you about why your lack of response is a response.
I am stunned by the amount of email that some of my clients get. It can be overwhelming. I know these people to be good, caring leaders who want to make a difference and who want to bring out the very best in others. But they get overwhelmed by electronic communication. When they do I remind them of three things.
#1. By not responding you are damaging your brand and reputation.
#2. By not responding you are increasing employee or customer anxiety.
#3. By not responding you are reducing performance because people can’t act on timely information, and in turn they become disengaged. It’s a vicious cycle.
So, not responding is a response…at least it is in the mind of the person who is trying to communicate with you. If it is, what do I suggest? I suggest you get really clear on expectations. And the expectations need to be around:
#1. What’s the best vehicle to reach you? Letting people know the best vehicle to reach you reduces anxiety and uncertainty.
#2. What’s the time frame people can expect for you to respond. In other words, if you say to people, “if you send me an email, I’ll get back to you within three days,” then you have to get back to them in three days. If you say, “the best way for you to reach me is to send me a text,” then you have to respond to the text.
These two points are important in today’s culture because everyone has been “Amazoned.” I love Amazon. I can buy with one simple click, receive a notification of my order as well as my shipping date. I love it! If you’re watching this and you work for Amazon…your service is addictive. I pay Amazon Prime fees and I’m buying a whole lot more merchandise. Amazon is responsive. They communicate with you and they remove an uncertainty, anxiety or ambiguity about our orders.
Your employees have been “Amazoned” and expect you to respond in tight timeframes. And when you don’t respond, it creates a negative impact.
So this week, get very clear about the best way to reach you, and what the expectations are about when you’ll respond. If you do those two things people will see you as being responsive and your brand and reputation will go up.