Not Responding Is a Loud Response
Some days, the messages roll in at an alarming speed. Emails, texts, and tweets often outnumber the minutes in a day. Reading all of the questions, messages, and posts is an overwhelming task. Responding to all or even most of them doesn’t seem like a wise use of time.
But what about the messages from those we know, care about, and work with? So many of the messages don’t ask for a response, but all of them imply it. You may feel that replying, “Thanks for the heads-up,” “Got it,” or “I’ll revert back” is unnecessary and not all that important.
Unless you’re on the other side of the message.
The choice not to respond sends a loud and unequivocal message to those who are waiting for a reply. You either don’t care, are too busy to respond, or have already forgotten and moved on with your day. Probably all three. Not responding doesn’t seem like much of an offense until you understand that others infer big meaning to the absence of a reply. They either matter to you or they don’t.
You hold the same standard when engaging others who matter to you. Is it really that hard to close the loop and say, “Thanks”? Doesn’t our relationship mean something to you?
To very busy people, this sounds ridiculous. In their minds, responding doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. They’re too busy to respond to every message, even those that come from friends, clients, and family members.
In an increasingly mediated communication society, however, such small acts carry a heavy impact. Those leaders who prize relationships get this idea and find a way to respond quickly. They know that not responding is a relationship offense that speaks volumes about who really matters to them.
Taking the time to respond, even with simple replies of “Sorry,” or “Way to go!” tells others that they are important to you. The best leaders remember that not responding is a relationally loud response.