Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

My Pledge To Communicate With You
January 19, 2010, 8:30 am
Filed under: Networking/Social Media, Thoughts

I have a confession. Over the last several months, I have sucked when it comes to communicating. Phone calls have gone unreturned, and emails have been piling up in my inbox. Looking at my inbox right now, I have 1,480 unread messages just in the mail email alone, not to mention a few of the filters I have. I have a few other boxes with close to 100 unread messages. Sure, lots of the unreads are probably notifications or email subscriptions that someone signed me up for just because I gave them a business card at a conference (shame on you!) – but the fact remains that I haven’t done a good job at staying in touch.

I could use any excuse in the book – the move, the travel, settling in to a new place, new job, etc. But I’m not going to because I’m tired of making excuses for not achieving the things I set out to do. It’s a bad habit I’ve somehow picked up and has never been a part of my M.O. before, so I am losing it today. No more excuses.

I feel like a hypocrite talking about the importance of networking and developing relationships with people, when many of you reach out to me and never receive a response, or it takes several weeks at best. Networking is not just about friending someone, or leaving a note on their Wall, or accepting a LinkedIn invitation, or retweeting something they said. It’s about responding, engaging, and building trust. And it may sound silly to you but I think it’s hard to trust someone who doesn’t acknowledge your attempts at communicating with them.

I’m so sorry 😦

So my pledge to you today is this:

  1. No more unreturned phone calls. If you call me, you can expect a returned call within 48 hours. If you thought enough of me to reach out, I am going to return the favor right back to you.
  2. Personal emails will be responded to within 72 hours. I’m trying to give myself more personal time on the weekends, so if I get an email on Friday, it might be Monday before I respond, but I WILL respond.

To do this, I am going to need your support:

  1. Be specific – if you have a question you want me to help you with, be specific about it. Don’t just say “I’d like to pick your brain”; tell me how exactly I can help you!
  2. Be patient with me – we’re all human and we all make mistakes. I am not planning to slip up on this pledge, but it might happen and I might fall behind at some point. All I ask for is encouragement; be my cheerleaders! Kind words do more to motivate me than you may know…
  3. Return the favor – we all lead very busy lives. For some of us, email or a phone call is the only way to stay in touch any more. I miss a lot of my friends whom I used to talk to a lot; please call me back 🙂

I hope you will all hold me accountable to this pledge. I’m completely serious about this: I am drawing a line in the sand. The time for action is now, and I am excited about reconnecting. Look for me in your inboxes and on your caller ID!

1 Comment so far
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Congratulations for taking control of the many inboxes in your work life. One of the biggest ways that I was able to do so with mine (mostly) is by insisting that people who want to meet with me in-person, by phone, or even email must have an agenda that they can articulate and be specific enough with that agenda that I can say “yes” or “no” without any actual discussion. It is amazing how many people want to spend your time (and mine) developing their thoughts. That shows a lack of respect for my time but that’s okay but I reciprocate by showing a lack of respect for their non-existent proposals.

Comment by Steven Rothberg

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