Often we find that people are reluctant Responding to phone calls, messages, emails or Whatsapp messages. Why don’t they, and is it a good practice?
Avoidance towards Responding to others may be due to various reasons.
Let us first try to understand why people don’t answer. There can be several reasons –
a. They over-commit and when they realize that they cannot keep their commitment, they avoid by not Responding.
b. They don’t have the feedback asked for – so they think that they will answer only when they have the required feedback
c. They don’t want to continue the relationship and are too polite to say so
d. They don’t value the other person – so they don’t bother to Respond
By not Responding to someone, not only do they fail to maintain trust in the relationship but also earn a very bad reputation. Repeated failure to Respond ultimately results in a break in the relationship. And as relationships are networks, it results in creating a negative image.
So, it is always a better option not to keep the person on the other side waiting for a Response.
Let us now take a quick look at some situations and understand how to Respond in each of the situations mentioned below –
When Leena bagged the prestigious contract of supplying garments, she was over the moon. In her over-enthusiasm, she committed to her client that her company will fulfill the order within a month’s time. However, when she asked her production team, they informed her that it would take them 1 ½ month to complete the order.
Some people, in this situation, would have preferred to keep quiet and pass on this information to the client only when they enquire. But Leena decided to be honest with the client. She met them and apologized to them informing them about the delay. The client appreciated Leena’s honesty and allowed her the extra 15 days.
If you have over committed, simply accept your mistake and apologize, preferably before the other person has a chance to wonder why you are not keeping your commitment. Remember, apologizing strengthens a relationship instead of breaking it.
Lack of feedback
Neeta was looking for a job change and contacted job consultant Mona. Luckily, Mona had an opening and sent Neeta for an interview. Soon after, Neeta got another interview call and they were ready to make an offer. Being keener on the materializing of the first interview, Neeta called up Mona for a feedback. But Mona did not have a feedback from the client, so to avoid Neeta, she did not take her calls. It created a difficult situation for Neeta as she now couldn’t decide whether or not she should take the offer on hand.
If you do not have the required feedback, inform the person when you can give the feedback, again preferably before the person expects the feedback. Everyone prefers to keep a relationship with a person who does not make them wait.
Not willing to continue the relationship
Rupak had been working under Dinesh for 10 years and always looked up to him for advice. One day, Rupak decided to leave the company to start his own business but Dinesh and he continued to keep in touch.
Rupak, as before, kept on depending on Dinesh for advice but Dinesh found that he had none to offer Rupak as he did not have much knowledge of Rupak’s new business. Moreover, Dinesh being busy with his own work had no time for Rupak.
In situations such as this, a lot of people start avoiding the other person. But Dinesh decided to talk it out. Over a cup of coffee, he explained to Rupak why he could not give time and advice to him anymore. Rupak understood his problem and although they continued to keep in touch, Rupak stopped approaching Dinesh for any further business advice.
Avoiding people never solves the problem, it is always better to politely inform the person on the other end why and how you are unable to keep the relationship. It is always better not to raise the person’s expectations and keep him waiting. Not Responding does just that.
Has no value for the other person
Rajesh was a very busy manager in an MNC and lot of people approached him for jobs but he ignored their calls – thinking of them as a disturbance. Often, he did not even Respond to their normal greetings.
Then, the situation suddenly changed and Rajesh was forced to leave his company. He had no job and came to know that some of the people who had earlier approached to him for a job were now working in good positions and may be able to help him find a job. But when Rajesh approached them, they did not Respond to him as they remembered the Response they had got from him at one point of time.
If you choose to ignores someone because today he is not important to you, remember there might be a day when you might require something and the person may decide to avoid you in similar way.
As the saying goes, “Do not burn your bridges – you never know when you may need the other person’s help”.
It does not take much to Respond to a person but what you lose when you don’t is much bigger – relationships.
So, always make it a habit to Respond even if it is of no benefit to you today.