Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. – The Golden Rule
We spend way too much time waiting in this society. We wait for slow traffic, for repair people, for a doctor appointment, and we wait in lines, lines, and more lines.
No matter how much we tell ourselves that we can use the time playing with this or that latest gadget, most of us are getting weary of the exercise. And maybe, we’re getting a little too inured with it all, so we don’t consciously register our own growing frustration until… we need someone’s help in some manner and we’re waiting for that all important call from them.
It’s peculiar, but for all the talk you hear these days about ‘social’ this and ‘interpersonal’ that, and with all the electronic means to get to one another 24/7, apparently there is one ‘people skill’ many folks didn’t get the memo about — keeping one another updated and informed.
It’s common courtesy, but it’s also a smart business strategy. If we establish a set policy for constantly keeping people current we can avoid:
- Accidentally giving others the impression that we find their needs and wants a low priority
- Giving people the impression that we don’t value their time
- Giving people the impression that we are untrustworthy
- Giving people the impression that we are frivolous and unprofessional
- Inadvertently allowing people to drift away from our own influence toward those who appear to give a damn about them
- Causing anger toward us in someone who might someday have some kind of power over us
- Reducing our credibility in the eyes of others
USE THE GOLDEN RULE
A good way to know if we should be keeping someone in the know is to think about the interpersonal situations we find ourselves in from the other person’s perspective. We need to ask ourselves, “How would I feel if ______?” In other words, use The Golden Rule. Doing so allows us to:
- Build goodwill
- Create lasting contacts
- Create allies
- Further our own personal brand
- Prevent causing others psychological distress (this world piles it on enough, we don’t need to add to it)
- Prevent ourselves from feeling bad through our own unintentional misconduct
THE WORST EFFECT OF NOT KEEPING PEOPLE INFORMED
We humans crave order and certainty. Our minds will always try to fill-in the blanks left behind when we are out of communication with someone. When people are forced to wait too long to hear from us their mind starts to create multiple scenarios for why they haven’t heard from us. They’re searching the beachheads of their mind for the elusive message in a bottle that’s bobbing around out there somewhere in a foaming, increasingly resentful, emotional tide.
What’s so dangerous about this is that we’ll probably never realize that things have gotten this bad, because grown-ups don’t want to appear whiny, and probably will never tell us we’ve transgressed.
Even if we don’t as yet know everything we need to know in order to call someone, if it has been a while since they heard from us, we should call or write to say we haven’t forgotten them and we’re still working on it.
So there you have it. We can avoid an all too common and potentially damaging interpersonal and professional blunder, not staying in touch with others when they are waiting for our response, by considering how we would feel in the same situation, and erring on the side of caution with a quick call or email.
That’s how we’d like others to do unto us!
I’d love to hear what you think. Do you agree? Disagree? Please leave your thoughts on this subject in the Comments section below.
In the meantime,
Bestest to all,