Ghosting. This is a relatively new term used to indicate what might otherwise be called “radio silence,” that is, a loss of communications. Despite the many ways we can now communicate, via email, text, direct messaging, “zoom” calls, or even the good old phone or maybe “snail” mail, it amazes me that we often end up at a place where “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” (Some will remember that movie line.) Unfortunately for me, and Melissa and me, in our business, when this happens, it all too often is when a prospective client has requested a proposal and I spend time and money preparing then I send it along, via email and/or other means. After sending it, I give it some amount of time to be reviewed and then I follow up with the prospective client to discuss it, often, only to be met with no response. My phone calls go to voice mail and my messages are ignored. Or, I send email and hear nothing. I know the kinds of attorneys who hire us are busy. If they weren’t busy, they wouldn’t need us. But, it is a matter of professionalism in my mind. It takes me considerable time and yes, money, to prepare a proposal. If one doesn’t like the proposal, we may be able to come up with an alternative – a plan B, or plan C. But, to not communicate, at all, is disturbing. I know the number one reason for Bar complaints is a failure to communicate. I don’t think it is too much to be able to follow up after doing what I was asked to do by the prospect. Ghosting is not a professional way to do business. Don’t be a ghost.
Ghosting is rude, unprofessional, and, when it comes to friends and family, mean. I have been ghosted on several occasions, by long time friends who chose to cut me out of their lives for unknown reasons. One of these friends remained out of touch for about 20 years, another, for 7 years, and another, 6 months. Strangely, they have all re-appeared in my life, in one way or another, and stranger still, none of them have explained their reason for ghosting me. In all of these cases, I decided to “take the high road” and move forward with our friendship without dredging up past hurt. David’s post is about ghosting in a business or professional context and, in my opinion, that’s frustrating, but not painful. I was recently dealing with a couple of vendors I was thinking about hiring. Our communications proceeded normally and as expected, then all of a sudden, both of these people stopped communicating with me. My calls, text messages and emails were met with “radio silence.” Needless to say, I moved on and, in both instances, found other people to do the work who were professional in their communications with me. I am a person who believes in communicating with others in a direct manner. If I don’t want to spend time with someone, believe me, they will know exactly why. And, I would prefer for others to deal with me in a direct manner as well. Ghosting, in my view, is uncool.