At times, I wonder about how much “response time” to provide. My goal is to always get back to people within twenty-four hours if I get a call or email. Sometimes I miss the mark on this, but usually, I tend to be pretty responsive.
So, it can be hard for me to understand why responses can take multiple weeks for some. It isn’t that I don’t believe there is a good reason, it is more that I rarely allow a response to hang out for that long.
That said, as I’ve matured as a person and a professional, I’ve become more comfortable with people having different methods and timelines to getting back to me. And, that has made me more comfortable with my own process for doing “check-ins” with others. So, here’s my process:
· If it is an urgent item, and I don’t hear back within a week, I send a follow-up email and consider a call. If my follow-up gets a response fairly quickly, I simply note that the person on the receiving end is likely being inundated with requests and simply needed a quick reminder. If I don’t hear back, I make a call and continue to do so until I’m able to get the person. The idea isn’t to be a pest, but rather to showcase that all of us are important, and all requests deserve a response.
· For non-urgent items, I tend to give more time for a response, sometimes a few weeks. I’ll then reach out again, and wait a bit longer. After that, I email someone different to see if another contact can assist with the issue. I keep going up the line until I’m able to get a hold of someone to assist.
In both scenarios, my goal is always to remain positive and collaborative. We can never truly understand all that others are going through, and rarely is the lack of a reach out anything other than too many things on a person’s desk. So, by taking the “personal” out, we can better meet people where they are, and help them help us resolve whatever is on our plates.