Love Thy Neighbor: Call Them Back
- Choose your modes of communication – There are A LOT of modes of communication. If you’re not on all of them, it’s ok. In fact, it could be a good thing. One of my friends who is a Christian business owner doesn’t text. It’s not that he doesn’t know how, but he doesn’t choose to. He is on the road a lot (don’t text and drive!) and also draws clear lines between work time and family time. In the end, he knows that he won’t respond well via text, so he tells everyone if you want to reach him, phone and email are best. In the same way, decide which modes are best, cut out those which are not, and let people know.
- Commit to a timely response – One of the big reasons people don’t respond is that they don’t schedule time to do it. To make sure this happens, put it in your calendar (Google is for this).
- Ask for grace – Sometimes stuff happens, and despite our best efforts, we can’t get back to everyone in a reasonable timeframe (24 hours is a generally accepted standard, though use your best judgment). For example, that long email that requires a well-thought out response. In these situations, it is better to let them know and set a later time, rather than say nothing at all. For example, “Got your email. Sorry, things have been a bit crazy here. I can get back to you later this week, though feel free to follow up if you don’t hear from me.” It’s much better than silence.
As a final thought, talk to some people you trust, such as colleagues, family, and especially your local church community. Get some good feedback on your habits. Find someone who excels in this area and ask them for help. It may not seem like much, but responding well can go a long way in loving our neighbor.Originally posted on CruAtWork.org.