Not all who are unresponsive can blame the overwhelming amount of incoming emails and phone calls as the cause of their behavior. Many of us tend to assume that other people’s low responsiveness is due to workload when, in reality, they may not possess a natural predilection to getting back to others in a timely fashion, if at all. Consider these various places you could find yourself when you attempt to balance a desire to be responsive with your actual responsiveness:
- You don’t want to be responsive and you’re not. If this is the case, you are at risk of being seen as an obstructionist to progress, and your colleagues are going to simply exclude you and work around you. Your relevance in your organization is in jeopardy.
- You have little desire to respond, but your job requires that you do. These types of roles may include, for example, a call center representative or a customer service specialist. You may find yourself in performance jeopardy as this role does not suit you well.
- You really want to be responsive but you’re not. You represent the vast majority of busy business professionals. You really want to get back to your colleagues in a timely fashion, yet your workday is over before you have a chance to do so. The frustration your colleagues are experiencing is exceeded only by your own frustration.
- You want to respond and you make it a point to do so. You are making a difference in your organization by supporting your colleagues. You successfully satisfy your innate desire to be responsive in a timely manner, and thus reduce stress and enable progress.
Being responsive is one of the hardest challenges facing busy professionals in today’s workplaces. The endless onslaught of incoming requests, calls, emails, and texts is unprecedented in human history. At the same time, being responsive is one of the strongest ways to raise your visibility in your organization. Remember that you don’t have to be 100% responsive. Your personal success rests with you being more responsive than you currently are.
Raise Your Visibility & Value: Uncover the Lost Art of Connecting on the Job is available