We live in a day where everyone expects an immediate response. The smartphone, social media, “push” and “message read” notifications have all accelerated our ability to respond to things and people more rapidly...but that doesn’t mean we all do! However, responsiveness is so important for our credibility as a leader and building trust on our team! Nothing aggravates me more than when someone won’t at least RESPOND to my texts, emails, or phone calls in a timely manner! Am I the only one? No. Here’s why:
A lack of responsiveness damages credibility and breaks down trust. So be responsive!
One of the Coach Values here at CourageToLead.com is RESPONSIVENESS. If a client reaches out to one of our coaches, our promise to you is that we are going to be RESPONSIVE. To be responsive is to respond in a timely manner.
Responsive (adj.) To respond in a timely manner.
Our coaches seek to get back with their clients THAT DAY. Most of the time we respond IMMEDIATELY! That’s the epitome of RESPONSIVENESS. Are you responsive? Do you respond to things and people in a timely manner? Could you stand some improvement in that department? Why is this even important?
Responsiveness communicates value. We have time for what we make time for. So when we fail to be responsive to things and people we communicate the fact that we don’t value them all that much. When we’re not responsive, it causes people to lose faith in our willingness to communicate, but more importantly they lose faith in the fact that we value them. Secondly, when we fail to be responsive we inadvertently communicate a lack of INTEGRITY. Integrity is doing what we say we will do. So if we tell someone we’re going to get back with them and we don’t we have just lied to them! These are both reasons a lack of responsiveness is so dangerous on a team! So how can we become more responsive? Here are:
Two Ways To Be More Responsive:
Calendar your response time.
Place some place on your calendar where you plan to respond to people. I love to plan thirty minutes at the beginning of my work day and 30 minutes at the end of my workday to respond to my email.
Don’t respond “when things slow down.” Respond intentionally. Be more responsive! It communicates respect, value, and credibility.
I also don’t schedule back to back appointments. I allow 15-30 minutes in between so I can respond to various texts from people who need a quick response from me.
Responsiveness is not fixing every problem immediately. Responsiveness is simply responding! Technology can help us do that! Set an autoresponder on your email that tells people that you check email twice a day and that you will get back to them during one of those windows. Set up an auto-response standard text message that allows you to say the same. If you have an iPhone, tag the important people with the VIP label in your email and their emails will always stay at the top of your unread email until you respond to them. Bam! Leverage technology!
Responsive leaders come across as the most professional leaders, and therefore gain credibility and influence as they lead. Become a more responsive leader! Raise the value you place on responsiveness and therefore the value you place on the people around you.