Leadership Tip

How to handle the silent treatment

We've all had emails or voicemails go unanswered. Whether it's a prospective client, a potential employer, a work colleague, you're left with the same feeling: what did I do wrong? Here are three tips for handling the silence:

  1. Don't take it personally. Often there is a logical explanation for the silence. Perhaps the employer hasn't gotten funding for the position yet, or the colleague has no new information to share. Don't assume you did something wrong, but understand that the person may have other priorities.
  2. Don't pester. In the hectic world of work, sometimes all people can do is respond to crises and top priorities. If you are neither, don't pester with repeated follow-up emails or calls.
  3. Manage your emotions. Once you've sent your follow up, assume you won't hear back. If you do hear back, it will be a nice surprise. If you don't, you won't have wasted your energy stressing about it.

The above leadership tip...
was sent in response to a question from a participant on our 10/10 leadership development and mentoring programme and adapted from from When Your Messages Go Unanswered by Peter Bregman. Whether you're a first time manager or an experienced leader, straightforward, practical advice on best practice is hard to find. Until now. To find out how you, your team or your organisation can benefit, please join us on our next complimentary webinar or contact us.


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