When you don't get a response

Posted by Brenda Yoho
“The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as being heard.”-William Hazlitt

Have you ever sent an email to your boss asking a question and never received a response? I learned quickly working with a boss like this that no response was the response. Why send a reply when the answer is no or the question does not warrant a response? It saves the boss time but leaves the employee wondering.

However, I worked with another boss who turned her emails over to her secretary, so the response you received was not from the boss but the secretary. You only knew this if you were in the inner circle. I was not and learned about it accidentally one day. So the communication was not direct and was not secure. It was sorted, prioritized and decided on by the secretary. Once employees discovered this, it left them feeling confused, insignificant, and unsafe to have conversations. It saved the boss time but left the employee wondering.

Then I had a boss who answered every email, knew all about you, and would even get to know about the history of your relatives. He knew everything and would greet you by name every time, no matter what position you held. If you happened to have gone to school in the district we were working in, he could tell you all about your school years. He arrived early to work, worked various hours, and often came in on weekends. The time-saving efforts utilized were not apparent, but all things were done. Employees wondered how he remembered all those things and how much time he spent to find out more if he did not know.

Three leaders three different ways to respond. How do you respond to emails? What are ways you save time? Time management is essential. Checking email all day long is not a wise way to spend time.

How to Spend Way Less Time on Email Every Day by Matt Plummer, Harvard Business Review, January 22, 2019 can be found at the following link. I included a couple of points he shared in the article as well.


“The average professional spends 28% of the work day reading and answering email, according to a McKinsey analysis. For the average full-time worker in America, that amounts to a staggering 2.6 hours spent and 120 messages received per day.”

“On average, professionals check their email 15 times per day, or every 37 minutes.”

The article includes more exciting information and solutions to reduce wasted time in this email saga. What are other things we need to think about as time wasted, but also how it affects others? Once again, I will refer to the Two Rules. Will this make others and myself feel good and feel safe? If the answer is no to either question, the answer is not to do it and find a better solution.

"I only have 2 rules!"
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