Monday, July 27, 2015

When You Don't Get a Response, Do You Email Again?

Some folks rarely to never respond to an email.

That leaves me to wonder did they receive the note; did they read the note; and if they received and read the email, why didn't they respond? 

The lack of response leads to the next question, If people don't respond, do you send another email to those people?

That's tricky. While a regular lack of response demonstrates a lack of interest or acceptance for some reason(s), if the information is important to share, you may need or want to share with future emails despite the lack of response.

This leads to the next question, Do some not like transparency? For example, if you're transparent and share the news, then others know about it. They can't say later, "I never knew that or that never occurred to me," as the information has been shared. From the sharers point of view, open share gives everyone a chance to comment and weigh in on the event, action, ideas, or thoughts. From the receiver's point of view share could mean additional responsibility, work to do, or room for debate and discourse. Those actions may be unappealing to some.

As I've written numerous times, I'm a fan of as much transparent share as possible. I'm also a fan of responding to emails whenever possible even if the response is I'll take a look at that later, but thanks for sending it to me. I'm also a fan of creating transparent threads for regular share so that people's email boxes don't become too full and there's a place to see new information when you have a chance to take a look.

Last year we kept the families, leaders, and students aware of all curriculum efforts in a timely fashion. That resulted in very few emails as most information was shared. And when there were emails, they were typically targeted to very specific questions, ideas, and thoughts that served to boost our shared teaching/learning program. Ample, appropriate, responsive communication usually means less email exchange because the important information is there for the taking.

A lack of response to emails leaves one with lots of questions and as Godin writes in a somewhat related recent blog, a feeling of ". . .fear and agitation and, "uh oh, what's wrong."

While I continue to think about this issue, I welcome your thoughts and ideas. In the meantime, if I believe it's important to share the information in a targeted way, I'll share the email. If don't receive a response, I'll note that the receivers aren't interested or don't have a thought or opinion about the topic, and I'll continue my work as noted.