Ghosting – The Real Business Issue

In the modern world of work, we have seen a number of behaviours from outside of the workplace creep into the business world. 

We have experienced the influence of chat apps like iMessage, WhatsApp and messenger have huge impacts on how we communicate. It has moved communications from clear and concise to long-running threads that often end in meetings to clear up the objectives and how to be successful. 

We have seen the influence of video, more specifically stories video format influence how we update each other in standups and on large projects and become a stable of engineering and product teams. Zoom, Teams and Meet have been essential to the majority of meetings, however, do we really need more video or do we need more directions, purpose and understand if the video function becomes a distraction. 

Unfortunately, behaviours like ghosting are becoming an unwanted but accepted behaviour that is definitely influencing relationships, company culture and performance. 

Ghosting is
“the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication”.
– Oxford Lexico Definition. 

Ghosting was always a possible function of work, however, it was more specific to conversations or communication chains.
More recently it has become a pattern that is becoming more deliberate and defaults for colleagues and business partners. 

Over the last two years and coinciding with more electronic communication, ghosting has become a default for many people.

Ghosting is prevalent from a couple of activities, the first is when staff do not know the answer or how to answer a question posed and the second is when communication is harder than a simple response. 

Both of these are detrimental to business and reflect your people, teams and company’s reputation. 

This has to stop, this is a small part of the broken world of work many operate in. 

There are two ways to tackle bad behaviours:

1. Train all staff how to communicate when the information is not to hand or when the answer is not positive to the recipient 

2. Have dedicated templates created where your staff can copy and edit to their colleagues or external partners. 

Ghosting should never be an option, particularly in the world where we rely on electronic communications, however, as many are experiencing ghosting and having a negative impact on business performance, it is a business leaders duty to remove such behaviours, for personal development and the business performance. 

The simple message: identify the issue => train staff => remove the fear => remove bad behaviours and => improve how you operate as a business. 

Here are the big problems business face and how to address them.

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