In the dating world, the term “ghosting” describes a prospect going abruptly silent and not returning phone calls, emails, and text messages to avoid the awkwardness of saying “no” or ending a nascent liaison.
Regrettably, ghosting has metastasized into the work world. For example, hiring managers regularly ghost job seekers even after interviews.
Of course, people are ever busier, more stressed, and more apt to choose convenience over courtesy. But, as long as an email is not a cold-call, it deserves a response. Dashing off a quick email telling you’re no longer interested is better than not responding at all and hoping that the ghosted person will take the hint.
When someone sends you an email with a suggestion or a compliment, respond to the email, even if to say no more than a “thank you.” On a fundamental level, your action will acknowledge that you’ve received the email.
Yes, you’re contributing to email overload. However, taking but a few seconds to respond “thanks for taking the time” or “I reviewed and I’ll keep this in mind” will bring that interaction to a close. The email is probably still on the sender’s mind.
An email that contains emotional content—praise, criticism, venting—deserves something longer: a sincere, thought-out “thank you” or “I understand how you feel.” you’re thus acknowledging the sender’s effort, recognizing her intent, appreciating her thoughtfulness, allowing for her emotions. It acknowledges the person herself.
Idea for Impact: Ghosting sucks. Whether in dating, job hunting, business communication, friendship, or any other aspects of work- or personal-life, ghosting shows a lack of consideration. Yes, it’s rude … even in the digital age where “no answers” is the accepted norm.