Close the loops, please!
How often we hear this - “We’ll come back to you” in almost all sorts of business communication. ’Am tempted to ask how many amongst us have actually heard back from the person who said so or how many times we reverted to the person within a specified time for whom we used that wise sentence?
Maybe we can count them on finger tips. But why is it so prevalent in business milieu that we, many times, arbitrarily leave communication unclosed? It not only reflects utterly poor etiquette but also lowers the dignity of the person at the other end. I have been bewildered for a long time that noticeably nice educated folks show such disregard to such a simple tenet of civility that even after (often) repeated persuasions, keep ends open. What ails?
If the outcome is positive, things move predictably fast in the direction one foresees and communication flows unhindered e.g. a contract win or a successful job interview or a smooth M&A negotiation.
They become eerily messy if the outcome is other than positive. But, aren't we all erudite enough to understand that suppose if for an open position four candidates were interviewed in final round obviously it’s going to be only one who would be going to ultimately get the appointment letter? Or maybe none. And rest rejected. Yet, we have noticed hardly ever the rejected candidates get informed about the outcome from the prospective employer or the HR agency. It’s perplexing why folks dither to inform and keep people live with false expectations!
Is it a kind of fear that one may lose a prospect now and in extension, forever, if one is given a negative feedback? Or is it their sheer inability and lack of grace to hand out the dreaded REJECT slip?
Post-It note attached. Loop closed! No false expectations or resentment. And yes, so neat.
In my professional career, companies I worked for have regularly used freelancing Agents/Consultants/Contractors/Developers etc. and we have had this trait ingrained in us - keeping them regularly updated on their application status. Once announcement made, we would convey our decision of acceptance and rejection to all via polite/short messages. No one, believe me, felt aggrieved. In fact, many stayed in our roster with a hope of winning future businesses.
Conversely, on numerous occasions we have been at the receiving end of not being informed professionally. Many proposals that my companies submitted remained open for ages as if one fine morning, we would be asked to come and execute a project or deliver an equipment that might jolly well have been discontinued at our end.
Though this isn't prevalent across the board but sure, many are soaked by this habit of keeping loops open. They don’t understand by doing so they antagonize the eagerly waiting recipient more rather than conveying their Yes / No decision with a poker face and closing it. This helps in not only building a professional bond but also opens new vistas for many unforeseen assignments in future.
(Views expressed here are personal)