Why is Communication So Difficult?

As a business professional who has worked in the areas of law, sports, real estate, finance and entrepreneurship, communication is the lifeblood of everything that I do.  Keeping clients up to date, keeping business associates and partners connected to the deal and making sure that vendors perform their services on time all require extensive communication.  Networking to find more business and reaching out to prospects require coordinated communication.

People spend much of their day on email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media.  When they are not on social media, they are busy talking on their phone or sending text messages.

So you would think with all of this experience and all of this practice that we would be good communicators.  Unfortunately, especially for those of us that like to communicate, this is not true.  Most people are very poor communicators, or at minimum, they are reluctant communicators.

When I leave someone a voicemail, send an email or send a text message, I do expect a response.  I am not talking about cold calls or sales calls.  I am talking about calls and messages to friends, business colleagues, vendors and even to businesses from whom I am trying to purchase products/services.

It continually shocks me that I can send an email inquiry to a business about a product or service that I need and not receive a response.  I am not talking about an autoresponder.  I am talking about a legitimate response.  Some companies have enough systems in place that their autoresponders can basically deal with the inquiry, but in the last several months I have seen small businesses not even bother to answer an email inquiry for two weeks.  REALLY?  Fourteen days?  I don’t think that these businesses are so flooded with inquiries or work that they don’t need to bother.

Yet the business side probably bothers me less than the personal side.  If you don’t respond to clients, customers and employees, sooner or later (and probably sooner), your business is going to struggle.

But when a friend contacts me, I may not always respond immediately, but I always respond.  I cannot imagine not responding.  I do my very best to respond to all of it within 24 hours.  I don’t always live up to that ideal, but it is extremely rare for an email or text to go unanswered beyond that time. Phone calls sometimes can take longer to coordinate or schedule or fit in between other things.  But I know that if I am not going to be able to phone, that I should at minimum, get a text message or email to let the person know that they haven’t been forgotten. 

So what is the solution? I honestly don’t know.  I am not looking to cut off all relationships from the communication slackers.  But it does give me a pause for concern about engaging in any business with these people and on the personal side it definitely impacts how close I feel to someone.  If you can’t even be bother to return a call, email or text, then how badly do you really want me in your life?  The answer? Not much at all.

So I have made a decision to focus more of my time and effort on those who respond.  I am tired of chasing people (work and personal).

Just remember, I am here for you and I will still be your friend.  But I am done chasing.

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