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Relationships 101

Relationships Make the World Go “Round”

Have you ever sent an email to get some important information, and then have difficulty getting a response? Frustrating, right?

It took me a long time to understand why some people never returned telephone calls or even email. I thought in many cases that was plain rude. My initial reaction was negative. Upon reflection, maybe I was a little harsh. If I need something, and the other person doesn’t react the way that I think they should, it must be due to a negative attitude? There is probably another reason?

Have you ever ignored, or forgotten to get back to someone in a timely fashion? Sure, probably all of us have. I’ve certainly been in crazy situations where there was barely enough time to keep up, and replying to emails (and even some phone calls) was not on my most important “priority” list. I wasn’t going to work late just to keep someone else, especially a vendor, satisfied.

What is the chance than someone else is in the same situation?

This is probably the main reason for not responding—my request does not fit in with their list of action items in their timeframe.

What can we do when someone doesn’t respond? Well, we can consider if there is another person that we can ask for the information. In many cases, there is not. We need the original person’s assistance – That’s why we asked.

What then? Continue sending emails until we pester them into action? (Not the best for building relationships.)Call the person Whatever the reason that your email wasn’t answered is over…                                                                                                                        * Call and make a “new” request * Start “fresh.” Pretend as if the email never happened. To them it may not have. They may have received it at a very                            busy time, and couldn’t respond *Assume there is a good reason that they didn’t respond. You don’t need to know the reason; however, they may share.                      Listen, and understand a new side to the story * Consider whether the request can be broken into smaller pieces This makes the task smaller and easier for someone to help with a part, and thus easier to get accomplished * Know that you are asking for a favor, and authentically offer to do something now, or in the future, in return for their                       help now

Maybe there’s a small voice in your head saying, “Just give them more time.” Or “I hate to call and bother them.” You’ve already bothered them, so if you really need the information, you need to consider the other options.   Move past the email stage – realize that the email didn’t work this time, and a relationship needs some building or support. You may be surprised at the way the conversation goes. I’ve even had someone thank me for the pleasantness of the phone call, because they had just dealt with a crappy (can I say crappy?) situation, and talking with, and helping me, was a bright part in that person’s day.

So, when does one need to talk rather than type? The best answer is when you need a more complete answer or commitment. And especially when the issue is of greater significance. The more significant the issue, the more important the type of communication. Maybe a face-to-face conversation rather than the phone call.

You make the choice of what you do each day. You decide what is important to you (and of course your employer – we can’t forget keeping them happy). Face the people that you need to face. Answer the email that you need to answer. Delete the rest. Help others first, and be known for it, and they will do everything they can to help you. Remember the words of the late, great Zig Ziglar, “If you help enough other people get what they want, you will get what you want.”

If you need help breaking down your priorities to get back your focus – Leadership Harbor can help!

Relish the moments! Build relationships! Enjoy the day!

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