Beyond rude and into sloppy!

Getting straight, honest, and clear about the conversations we engage into.

I am pretty clear it is rude and sloppy. Face-to-face or virtually.

You offer a conversation. Someone responds positively. You respond in turn. Then silence. You wait. Maybe try again, worried you weren’t heard; worried the other person is beginning to think you are rude. Again, nothing.

This is an unlikely face-to-face interaction. But why is it so common in the virtual business world?

What is going on when people walk away from a social media or email conversation they have seemingly encouraged? “Thanks for this. Interesting idea/product/blog/point of view. Let’s talk more. Yes, let’s stay in touch over this.” You follow up. Silence.

I am pretty much past worrying, at a personal level, about getting a stiff ignoring. Almost. It still rankles of course. But why are “dead-enders” wasting my time and theirs?

I am genuinely curious about these stalled engagements. What is going on? Where does the initial interest and energy go? Is it a courage thing? Cold-feet around a new relationship, idea etc. Is it an energy thing? “Must get back to the comfort of always doing what I have always done.”

And what about good manners? “Thanks but I need to put this on the back-burner”, or “I have other priorities that demand my attention right now”. How much does a quick reply like that cost?

If we can’t be straight and honest, or find the energy and focus to follow-through, what does this say more widely about the quality of our working and other relationships?

If we just accept that “this is the way it is these days” we are copping out. It is beyond rudeness. It is sloppy and ultimately bad business. I am not promoting the “fluffiness” and niceness of good manners; I am promoting being straight, honest, and clear about what we do with the conversations we engage into. It’s a maturity thing. It is also an effectiveness thing.

So, what could be different right now in the teams and organisations you work in with a bit more social honesty and maturity?

Dave Stewart
The Fresh Air Learning Company