The Frustration of No Response

imageThere was an interesting article in our paper today about electronic communication. It got me thinking. Seems we are going to have to come up with some rules, or at least some understanding between ourselves to use this form of communication properly. Technology is supposed to make it easier to reach each other, and often it does. But, if we don’t understand each other, and don’t get a response, we can feel frustrated, or even ignored.

In this age of instant communication we expect an immediate response, so when we get no response back, we wait and began to wonder why the snub. And, the scary news is that technology is still, and always will be, changing with new and faster ways of communication on the way. So, let me give you five suggestions (not rules)that this old guy (me- who is trying to keep up with the new stuff) would like to see in place:

Suggestion #1…Tell people what your preference of communication is…phone call, email, text message, twitter…let them know what you prefer so they know what you are checking the most often. Reverse the Golden Rule: Treat others the way THEY want to be treated!

Suggestion #2…Get rid of email and social media accounts you don’t check regularly.

Suggestion #3…Respond to every personal message that is directed to you with a short response telling your intentions. “Got your message. I will reply next week” or “I have no reply at this time. Tell me more” or “Hang on…I will reply later today” or whatever is appropriate.

Suggestion #4…If you are copied, it is your choice whether to reply or not. No response is necessary. The information is just so you know what others are talking about.

Suggestion #5…Don’t assume the worse if there is no response. It may not mean they don’t like you or don’t open mail from you. It may mean you chose the wrong way to communicate with them. If your request is important, send it again.

Reality is that we probably can’t and won’t respond to everything,but we do need to let other people talking directly to us know if we got their message.


Dr. Ron Cline helps build the body of Christ around the world. His background as a pastor, educator, counselor, missionary and author gives him credibility and rapport with the many groups and individuals he and his wife, Barbara, minister to in various countries each year. After 7 years of pastoral ministry in Southern California, and ten years as the Dean at Azusa Pacific University, the Clines’ international service began in 1976 as a short-term opportunity when he agreed to pastor the English Fellowship Church in Quito, Ecuador for two years. Those two years stretched into six years. Following that he served as the president of HCJB World Radio, also in Ecuador, for 20 years. HCJB Global, now Reach Beyond, has media, health care, community and/or leadership development ministries in Latin America, Europe, Russia, North Africa/Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia Pacific. Ron and Barb currently serve as Global Ambassadors with Reach Beyond and live in Southern California after living 30 years abroad. They travel from Southern California throughout the world. For the last ten years they have been encouraging, coaching and working with leaders in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Mongolia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, America Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Central Asia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Ecuador, Russia, Malawi, Ivory Coast and South Africa.

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