Saturday, July 25, 2015

Why It's Important to Respond to Emails and Calls

There is a slight problem these days. People don't respond to calls, emails and smss. They will only respond if they have some work else they ignore.
Just bad etiquette.

Here's a real life story.

I usually send out Eid festival messages to a bunch of friends, say 30 of them. 20 do not respond. 5 respond cautiously after a few days (after the important ones are taken care of). 3 respond later in the evening that same day. One responds in an hour.

But only one responds within a minute.

Now comes the interesting part. The one who responds instantly is the busiest and most important of the lot. He is the head of a large political party. The order of importance in that list and their responses goes that same way. The more important people respond faster and the least important do not respond at all.
It shows clearly how the successful people think.

They look at closure. At instantly acknowledging and closing the loop. They do not weigh who is important and who is not. They are equally grateful to all for wishing them. The ones who are not successful are so because of their thought patterns. They respond only to those who are of some use to them. In most cases they are probably just plain lazy and do not understand the importance of closure.

I have been guilty of the same thing for many years - not looking beyond my nose. But now I know its a behavior pattern that is not good for anyone. It's best to close everything. There was a time when I used to pride myself on having the last word in any exchange - letters, emails. I lost the edge when it came to smss and whatsapp messages. But I am regaining some form there these days.

Yesterday morning I called a friend to wish him on his birthday. He does not answer. I send him a message wishing him. He does not acknowledge. The whole day. Pity. I am sure he would say he was busy but aren't we all? Where have we lost this elementary etiquette? Why are we so involved with ourselves that we do not have time to even acknowledge with the slightest 'thanks' or 'later' or a similar word? When have we started ranking people as important and not important? And then we are all so upset when people do the same thing to us. When they do not return our compliments, when they do not close things.

If the universal principles of 'you get what you give' holds, this does not bode well. It does not bode well for me either because I am at the receiving end too and its an effect of something I did. Anyway I am into self-correction mode now. I made a list of all the open-ended businesses in my life and have promised myself to close them. I made up my mind not to make promises I cannot honour - most of which I do to those nearest to me. I made up my mind to have the last word in every conversation -big or small, worthy or worthless.

Closure is important. Delivery is important. Keeping our promise is important. Most importantly acknowledging others and their presence and actions is important. If we cannot, the richness of life peels away layer by layer until our tree is bare again.


Madhav said...

We'll said!!

Rajendra said...

I have actually told most people that I don't access my phone much and to email me for a response, if they want one. Full disclosure!

Harimohan said...

Thanks Madhav.
Thanks Raja. Good to know that the email still rules. Guess what, I wrote a proper letter to my nephew in Dubai, a birthday surprise!

Plan to write some more. Anyone who wants letters by post, send me your addresses!

Prasanna Kumar said...

Well said Hari Sir.

I will get in to self-correction mode on this one for sure.

Harimohan said...

Thanks Prasanna.

ElementallyRagz said...

Superb Post Hari! It's very helpful, will pass it on to my team :)

Harimohan said...

Thanks Ragz.

Unknown said...

Hmmmm. . . . Hari just wanted to say your thoughts indeed have questioned many things to me. Thanks.

Harimohan said...

Thanks crusher - for writing in (and closing this loop)!

Nagasai said...

Well said!!