“Please Reply”

December 20, 2022

Back in my TV news days, when we needed to send a piece of video to the network or another station, we had three options. We could purchase expensive satellite time. We could mail the videotape. Or we could bus it. That’s right, we would literally put the tape on a Greyhound bus, like a holiday gift stuck between John Candy and Steve Martin, and hope that it made it to its destination! Can you imagine?!

Of course, things are very different these days. Now, with just a few clicks on a computer or mobile device, we can text, tweet, post and email videos and messages around the world in a matter of seconds.

So why is it, in a day and age when communication is easier and faster than ever, we seem to be getting slower at responding to one another in a timely manner?

At this point, you might be thinking, “Hold on there just a second. You have no idea how busy I am, nor how many messages I receive each day!”

Okay, point taken. But let me ask you this. When you don’t respond to customers in a timely manner, are they thinking, “Gosh, I’ll bet she’s busy, so I’ll just wait until she gets around to my email.” Or when team members are left hanging after sending you text messages, are they thinking, “He probably gets a lot of questions, so I’ll just be patient again.”

No, they’re not.

Because in the absence of information, people often assume the worst. The void is being filled with frustration and sometimes even anger. And telling someone that you haven’t had time to respond is like saying, “You and your concerns aren’t important enough for me to address today.” Ouch.

Heck, even the Good Book has something to say about the subject. Right there in Proverbs 15:23: “Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!”

So here’s a suggestion. Think about someone who’s good at responding to you and how that makes you feel. Important to them, right? It’s really about doing a better job of connecting, and at Wixted & Company, we like the way author Henry Cloud puts it. 

In his book, Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality, Cloud writes, “The human heart will seek to be known, understood, and connected with above all else. If you do not connect, the ones you care about will find someone who will.”          

Blog by Jeff Johnson