by David Klemt

Hello, is Anybody There? Ghosting in the Professional World

by Jennifer Radkey

An abandoned saloon covered in dust and cobwebs

We could be transforming this abandoned saloon into an amazing bar and restaurant, but we got ghosted. Also, drink Spork beer!

The act of ghosting may have started in the dating world but this phenomenon has, unfortunately, taken root deeply in the professional world.

In case you haven’t had the (dis)pleasure of experiencing ghosting, allow me to summarize. Ghosting is suddenly becoming unresponsive to all forms of communication without explanation.

Not only is ghosting toxic to business relationships and your brand image, it can be toxic to your overall mindset and feelings of self-respect.

People participate in the act of ghosting for many reasons, which can include:

  • conflict avoidance
  • indifference; and
  • low accountability.

These are not traits that lend well to earning respect from others or yourself. It’s good practice to protect your mental health and set clear boundaries, but this should not include the act of ghosting.

You are a professional. You can deal with uncomfortable situations and be responsible to yourself, your team, and your industry.

Ghosting can feel like the easy route, but it comes with long-term consequences. How you choose to interact with your team, your colleagues, other industry professionals, and your clients/customers is all a reflection of your personal and professional brand.

Check in with these five examples of ghosting in the professional world to make sure that you’re not participating in any actions (or inaction) that may result in a loss of respect.

Not Responding to Quotes and Proposals

You needed a service for your business, so you reached out to another business for a quote or proposal. Then you received the proposal, read it over, decided it wasn’t right for you…and never responded.

Remember, you sought out these professionalsthey didn’t cold call you. They gave you their time to put together a quote or proposal. The very least you can offer is acknowledgement that you received their quote, along with an update on where you stand.

Let’s start respecting each other’s time and effort.

Not Following Up with Job Candidates

We all complain when we’re ghosted by a job candidate and they don’t show for an interview. But that goes both ways.

Make sure that you’re taking the time to respond to job candidates (particularly after the interview process) to provide an update on the position.

You are your brand and represent its values; every impression matters.

Breaking Promises to Your Team

You promise your team a team-building event, or an end-of-quarter bonus. Then you fail to follow through.

Nothing breaks respect faster than not following through on promises. If you can’t make a promise happen you need to take ownership of that and honour your integrity by letting your team know.

They may be upset that the event isn’t happening. However, they’ll at least respect you for being honest and upfront with them.

Not Reading or Responding to Customer Reviews

Ghosting a customer or client will not only result in losing that particular person’s business but future prospects as well.

We don’t succeed without our clients, and they need to feel acknowledged when sharing reviews, good or bad as they may be.

If you don’t have time to read and respond to all reviews on your own, make sure you have someone on your team who can perform this task for you. Thoughtfully, of course.

Being Inaccessible to your Team

If you find yourself hiding from your team in a closed office or behind your computer more often than not, it’s time to acknowledge that you have been ghosting them.

A present owner is an involved owner. Not only will you have a better finger on the pulse of your business, you’ll create stronger working relationships with those on your team.

It Starts with You

If we want to bring clear communication and respect back to the professional world, it’s going to have to start with you. Complaining about being ghosted and then participating in the act of ghosting yourself is not going to change anything.

We all need to take pride in being professionals, and go out there to earn the respect of others and ourselves.

Take pride in becoming an open communicator and demonstrating respect in the workplace. Not only will this aid in your overall success, doing so will create a healthy mindset too.

Cheers to personal and professional well-being!

Image: Shutterstock. Disclaimer: This image was generated by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system.

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