...Dealing with Unresponsive Colleagues
What to say when following up with colleagues who are unresponsive. So here's the situation. You're waiting for feedback from other members of your team and they are simply not responding to your email, but you don't know why. Here's what you may be thinking and what you shouldn't say, he or she doesn't like me. I must have done something wrong. Here's a solution, sometimes getting a response takes some creativity. So try various modes of communication to see which one or which combination gets a response. Also, try disrupting the email addiction. You can even threaten a phone call or a meeting. Here's what you could say. With curiosity, have you received my messages about the project that's due on Friday? Or you can ask outright, why aren't you responding to me? Or with generosity, I value your input and realize things can get crazy, so let's get this off your to-do list now. Or with humility, I don't wanna be a pest but if I don't get your feedback today, we won't be able to meet the...
Friday deadline. And humor may be appropriate here. I hope you don't think I'm stalking you with all my messages. Or my favorite, don't make me call you on the phone, don't make me put a meeting on your calendar. The overarching idea is that some people are simply overwhelmed by email or their to-do list and they aren't good at prioritizing. In fact, they tend to ignore things and you may be one of them. So you may have to be very persistent without being a pest. Do everything you can to get yourself and the project out of limbo, and don't be shy. It may be necessary to walk over to their desk or pick up the phone and talk to them. Yes, I know it's scary to actually have a conversation but just do it. See if you can review it together, right now, if they have the time. And as a last resort, if this truly becomes a problem, you may have to send that last email with a copy to the person's manager, just to get their attention. Make sure you use the whole email chain so that their manager gets why you are copying them. Make sense?
It’s always important to know the right thing to say in various situations, but it’s particularly important at work. Getting tongue-tied or putting your foot in your mouth when speaking to a work colleague or superior could get you into trouble and impact your ability to thrive in your career.
So wouldn’t it be great if you had a virtual archive of precise language you can use in any professional situation? For example, what might you say when someone at work loses a loved one, when office politics get ugly or when a colleague isn’t pulling their weight?
Taught by Ilise Benun, an author and teacher known as the Marketing Mentor, this course provides you with concrete advice and guidance about how to handle a wide variety of situations and conversations. Using bite-sized videos that portray real-world situations, it will give you the tools you need to communicate clearly, appropriately and assertively at work.
In this class, you’ll learn how to:
- Communicate with everyone in your professional arena, from bosses to direct reports, vendors to clients.
- Avoid miscommunication when possible and recover from it when you can’t.
- Go from people-pleaser to self-respecting professional.
- Know the right thing to say at the right moment.
- Take time to assess the situation before making your response.
- Know when to speak and when to stay quiet.
- Decide whether a written or a verbal response is more appropriate.