I’ll Get Back to You
Nothing upsets me more than not hearing back from someone.
Whether it’s a reply that’s good or bad, I want the reply. Why is this so important?
I feel it’s a sign of respect, trust, and accountability.
“In every relationship, the work is never just in the positive actions we do for each other, but in the follow up.” –Yehuda Berg
While it’s important to be proficient and masterful in your work, it’s also just as important to build and nurture the relationships that are key to our success. Responding to and following up with customers, clients, and co-workers is a simple action to accelerate that success. Here are a few benefits that leaders gain when following up and responding become rituals.
RESPECT-When you respond to a question, email, or text, you are letting the person know they are important to you. You are saying to them that they are worth your time. I imagine most of us are excellent with response to our customers. They are why we do what we do.
How are you with response to your employees, peers, and/or team? What if we considered the people that we work with as our “internal” customers? Most times, we depend on others to get specific tasks complete. When people feel valued, they will be more productive.
ACCOUNTABILITY– Often times, leaders tend to overcommit and lack follow up because they have too much on their plate. This is one of the most frequent complaints of my executive clients. They struggle with delegating tasks because that requires taking time to explain the need, and then have a process for the project’s completion.
Many leaders’ default behavior is to just do the project on their own or constantly ask if the task is complete. I find these leaders are doing the work of their team and are unable to get out of the weeds. The solution is to teach the team to follow up with the leader once the task is completed. This allows the leader to operate from a more global point of view and coaches people to be accountable for their commitments and follow up.
TRUST-When you choose to follow up and respond to someone, you are building a foundation of trust with them. Trust can be a slippery slope because it is primarily subjective. Each individual perceives trust according to our own beliefs.
While we can’t influence how someone perceives trust, we can certainly demonstrate consistency in our response and let the person know they can count on us. Once that’s established, you will likely find that those people will up their game in response and follow up with you.
Of course we are looking for efficient and effective ways to work and succeed. It’s not our intent to not respond or follow up. There is so much external noise and distraction that we are having to work with in this age of technology.
Keeping up and managing emails is another major complaint for clients. In an effort to support follow through, many of my clients create a system to respond to emails at certain times throughout the day. They communicate to others to let them know when they will receive a response. This gives them permission to read emails and make a plan if there is a call to action. Sometimes the action is just letting the person know you got their email.
“Diligent follow up and follow through will set you apart from the crowd and communicate excellence.” –John Maxwell
TIP: Challenge yourself to add response time into your calendar. This simple step can make all the difference in your outcomes!
We would love to hear your responses!
Fundamental of the Week #22: DEMONSTRATE URGENCY IN RESPONSE TIME AND FOLLOW-UP Model enthusiasm in your response to issues and rigor in your follow up. Make sure your work is accurate, complete, and timely. Keep people updated, and make sure they are clear about your communication(s).