There are plenty of differences in relational styles. Some of us are more verbal and others more auditory and the like. Some are slow responders and others are really quick on their feet. Relational styles even differ on how they like to receive information or requests, e.g., phone calls, text messages, email, Facebook messaging, etc. But when we are leading a group of people and those persons cannot obtain a timely response from us through any of the various means of communication mentioned, then we are requiring those same persons to chase us.
Chasing leaders is not fun. In fact, sometimes it’s downright frustrating and futile. If you’re a leader who needs to be chased, then please, for the sake of the team and the sanity of others, listen up.
No one, I repeat, no one enjoys chasing their leader in order to get things done or make a decision. In fact, if you’re a leader that has to be continually chased, then you’re a leader who does not care as deeply as you should for those whom you lead. If your subordinate or even your supervisor has to call you, text you, email you or send smoke signals repeatedly for a response, then you are in effect dishonoring them by sending the message that your time is more valuable than their time. It conveys that you are too caught up in your world to respond in a timely fashion. Making it difficult to get a response from you slows down efficiency, inhibits order, frustrates relationships and spreads an, “I don’t care attitude” around the workplace.
If you’re this person, here are some suggested changes for you:
- If providing an accurate response is going to take some extra time, then begin by sending a brief message in return like, “I’ve gotten your request and I will get back to you by the end of the week.” Then, follow through on your word.
- If you have an administrator type person, ask them to get back to the request to discuss a time to connect.
- If people are reminding you that they are calling once again, pick up on that, you might have already begun to frustrate them.
- Maybe you’re the forgetful type. Write down or place a message on your phone to remind yourself to return the call within a certain time frame.
- Apologize for responding too slowly and make a commitment to the person to respond in a more timely fashion in the future.
Finally, if this speaks to you, confess that you deal with this issue and be accountable to change for the better, because those whom you oversee and those who oversee you are counting on it and integrity in leadership requires it.