...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?