Timely communication a sign of professionalism, respect

Imagine yourself a student waiting for an email from a professor, employer or anyone with general authority. You wait and wait because that email holds the answers you desire. Take it one step further and your frustration gets the best of you, and so you drag yourself out of your room to their office, and to your dismay you find that they are out of the office and unavailable.

You leave a note on the individual’s desk, and leave, knowing that you may never get the answers that you are waiting for. Until of course, you receive an email saying that they are unable to help because they are “too busy.” Alternatively, perhaps you never even hear from that individual or the other individuals you reached out to, furthering your frustration.

Professionalism, in every aspect of the word, means the conduct, aims or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person. However, in a world where “professionalism is necessary” for advancement and respect, professionalism is becoming more and more obsolete in the world around us.

Perhaps it is the fact that we are too reliant on others that communications are being shafted, or perhaps our reliance on technology has email in-boxes filled to the upwards of hundreds of emails to get through, therefore the questions of many are disregarded.

One of my biggest pet peeves is a lack of communication. Lack of response to emails, voicemails and even if responded to, taking too long to do so. We live in a world where industry and professions are all about communications.

Far too many professionals completely lack in one-to-one communication, email response or even acknowledging the fact that they are contacted.

Sure, some individuals can create and execute a presentation, put together an awesome plan or generate a grand marketing initiative, but when it comes time to responding to simple email questions or requests, some individuals truly lack in the communications department.

Can someone please tell me why responding to emails and voicemails within a timely fashion is so difficult? I admit that many of us live in an era of instant gratification, but a 24 hour turn-around period is honestly not asking too much.

If your job is to communicate, do it and take the lead and initiative on following up on it. If you are a professional, act like one. Get organized. Do what you need to do, in order to avoid getting an opinion article about the lack of communication in the professional world written about you.

American psychiatrist William Glasser once said, “If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behavior.”

In other words, begin to act the part, as well as you can of the person you would rather be and the person you most want to become. Gradually, the old, fearful person will fade away.

Not responding to emails or voicemails in a timely manner, or at all, only harms your image – and in the business of professionalism, it is all about branding an image, is it not?