Today, colleagues and information can reach you at any time of the day, in an endless number of ways, in milliseconds. It is estimated that over 6 billion mobile phone calls are made per day in the United States. Smartphones have created a world of socially acceptable stalking. You can be found at anytime and anywhere.
This ability to connect to you frequently and instantly highlights an interesting human behavior. The speed in which a colleague reaches you creates an identical expectation as to how long it will take you to respond. Similar to a fast-paced ping pong game, your colleagues expect a response as quickly as they got the ball to your side of the table.
“Responsiveness is the degree to which you get back to colleagues and foster progress.”
Have you been labeled as unresponsive? Do your colleagues use the phrases “black hole,” “bottomless pit” or “it’s like pulling teeth” when describing the challenges in reaching you? Your colleagues are reaching out to you for a reason. Most of the time, your colleagues are contacting you to obtain something from you (i.e., information, an opinion) in order to make progress on whatever is important to them. Some colleagues may be reaching out just to say “hello,” yet even those colleagues are looking for something – opportunities to build a professional relationship with you. If you have been labeled as a “black hole,” you are injuring your visibility in two ways:
- Your unresponsiveness impacts negatively on the progress of others.
- Your unresponsiveness impacts the desire for others who might want to reach out to you in the future.
These behaviors are visibility decelerators – your unresponsiveness creates frustration and damages relationships. You become an obstructionist of individual and organizational progress. Do any of the following characteristics seem familiar to you when you think about being responsive to others?
- You never return phone calls or respond to your email.
- You have to be caught “live” in your office or on the phone in order for your colleague to connect with you.
- You don’t recognize (and in some cases, don’t care) that you are unresponsive.
- When you do get back to your colleagues, you mask your behavior with self-effacing humor or by overusing happy face emoticons.
Raise Your Visibility & Value: Uncover the Lost Art of Connecting on the Job is now available
Interested in winning a complimentary copy? Go here to enter a a chance to win a free copy. The drawing takes place on November 30, 2018.