I’ve freely admitted my entire adult life that I am not a very ‘phone friendly’ person. I can’t explain it, it just is what it is, but I’ve never been comfortable talking on the phone. Yet I do have a compulsion towards returning calls. If you called me about something – and left a message – be it at work or personal – I *always* call back and rather promptly too. I may not initiate conversation all that easily, but I will always respond.
Still, you can imagine how thrilled I was when alternate, non verbal ways of communication were created. Email? Love it! Phones that get emails?! Even more awesome! Text messages? Probably the best form of communication ever! Twitter? Facebook? Fantastic as alternate, not immediate forms of keeping groups of people updated on things. I jumped in with both feet and have dragged as many people in with me as could! It’s even easier to keep my rule of always responding. It’s probably the one thing I kind of “dictate” to my staff at work: ALWAYS return calls & emails promptly. Even if you don’t have the answer at your fingertips – send a quick reply message to acknowledge the request and let them know when you can get back to them with the answer. The person who contact you needs to KNOW they have been heard. It’s just too ridiculously east not to!
So then WHY this month have I encountered a higher than usual run of people not responding? At work, there are still a handful of people and even one entire department who are hit & miss. It’s so discouraging! I listened to complaints from a few folks who hadn’t been helped in other areas and ended up doing my best to get them an answer, shaking my head each time because it was always something quick & easy. A friend went through a really long, drawn out interview process for a new job including taking tests & references from 10 years back being called….only to now have heard NOTHING for almost two weeks. Three weeks ago I contacted someone via email – no reply. I followed up via text last weekend, and still have not heard directly back from her. I heard through the grapevine that the messages got through after frankly worrying about whether she was even OK or not!
With all the ways we have to keep connected, or to help someone out, or keep things working smoothly in a business – how in the heck can we still have people failing to communicate?