I’m big on basic good manners. It’s something my mother drilled into me, reinforced in my youth by teachers who did not hesitate to correct me when I veered from the path of polite behavior or speech.
Therefore, you may understand why ghosting infuriates me.
I received in inquiry last week, a message from a potential client referred to me by a colleague. I thanked him for the message and thanked the colleague for the referral and answered the question posed in the potential client’s message.
And … nothin’.
In another instance, I contacted a person regarding registration as a vendor for an event. That person was quick to provide me with the URL for registration and to take my payment, but further communication has been lackluster and begrudging, to say the least.
Someone who contacts me and isn’t trying to sell me something usually gets a polite response. That response may be not what that person wants, but it does establish a connection via an electronic conversation. Engagement imposes the duty of polite manners upon the parties so engaged.
When there’s a monetary transaction involved, that duty becomes inescapable. That’s not only good manners, it’s also good business.
The job or project application differs. In such a circumstance, I will submit a cover letter and fill out the application form and attach my resume and whatever else is requested to be considered for a gig. In short, I am responding to a broadly cast, open-to-the-public announcement. Submitting the requested information generally results in an electronic form letter stating the hiring company received my application.
That’s all that’s needed. The company has no further obligation to engage with me unless they decide to interview me and/or hire me. Then the duty of polite manners applies.
Today’s definition of good manners seems to be based on the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The imperative of efficiency takes that and flings it to the wayside.
Businesses that prize efficiency above all else forget that people crave that human touch. We are social creatures, even those diehard introverts who work from home in glorious solitude. The little time it takes to act with kindness and courtesy makes a huge difference to the person at the other end of the communique or the connection.
Good business mandates courtesy.