Be More Responsive – Step #4 – Respond Appropriately

At some point, you will either have the answer your colleagues need or realize that you do not. If you have the answer they need – great! However, once you know that you are unable to help, let your colleagues know as soon as possible so they can go elsewhere. Avoid becoming the “black hole” or “bottomless pit” that exists in so many organizations by responding no matter what. In order to help your colleagues make progress, consider the following messages:

“I’ve tried to figure out what is wrong with the spreadsheet you asked me to look at and I cannot find the problem. Rather than keep you waiting any longer, I think you should call Frederick in Accounts Payable who knows more about these types of spreadsheets than I do. His extension is 455.”

“I gave this my best shot and I still can’t figure it out. Have you thought about going back to the client for more information?”

“I was able to make some progress. I forwarded this to Debbie Smith in marketing asking her to see if she can help as well.”