Raw Reflections from the Journey

Friday, September 20, 2013

Responsiveness: The Courtesy of Acknowledgement

I've thought about writing this for a long time, but it was usually with a bad attitude, so I refrained.

Have you noticed that the myriad of ways we have to electronically communicate sometimes leave us with more puzzles than answers about where people stand in relationship to us?  Send a text, email, facebook message, comment or post, voicemail, etc. and I hope for a reply.  But sometimes these go completely unanswered, or there are long delays that open up room for suspicion and negative conclusions; not good ingredients for relationships whether personal or professional. So, what to do?

I've found these practices helpful (thank you to Jill and friends that have suggested them):

1. Believe the Best! - Choose to think, "They are probably busy, stressed, occupied with something important and they will get to me as soon as possible given the other responsibilities in their life.

2. Check back to see if your communique was received - Technology is great when it works, but I'll bet that you have had quite a few emails, texts, voicemails get launched into the black hole of cyberspace.  "No. I never saw/heard your message" is believable because I've not seen things that others said they sent to me.

3. Give the Grace that you want to receive - I know I'm not perfect.  I've double-booked, no showed, meant to do well with a timely, thorough and honoring response, and dropped the ball.  I sure appreciate kind graciousness and an opportunity to try again instead of angry rejection.

4. RESPOND! There.  I said it.  Please respond.  Somehow.  Even a brief acknowledgement is appreciated. "Hey, I received your message.  Can't respond adequately now, but will w/in (24, 48, 72 hours, etc.).

Take Responsibility for your time and keep track of promised commitments on a task list.  

Tim Schofield is an international trainer for Franklin-Covey, well known for their principles and tools to assist in value based time management.  "Jeff, this planner isn't a tool to be served but a tool to help you to be a man of your word who does the things that he says he is going to do."

Why did I write?  I want great relationships! And, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

I want bridges of communication to be kept intact, negative experiences minimized, and to be responsive to others as a people helper who reliably and efficiently gives and meets needs.  More than once I've heard from a potential counseling client, "You win my business because I called five counselors and you are the only one who called me back!"

What are your thoughts about responsiveness?  What additional ideas and suggestions do you have on this topic?

blessings, Jeff