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What to do when colleagues ignore emails

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in Your Office Coach

Question: How should I handle a co-worker who will not respond to emails?  I often need her input when I have to make a decision. In the past, I would finally just walk over and ask her for the information.  However, I don’t think I should have to do this.  Tired of Waiting

Answer: Different people have different communication preferences. Some rely heavily on email, while others like face-to-face discussion.  Your unresponsive colleague may simply be one of those people who prefer talking to writing.

If this information exchange is more important to you than to her, forget about email and have a personal chat. Accommodating her style will actually save you time.  

But if changing tactics is impractical, try asking for her help.  For example: “When I send emails requesting input, I usually have a tight deadline and need the information quickly.  Is there anything I could do to make it easier for you to respond?”  Just be sure to ask this question in person, not in writing.

To be smart about email communication, see Ten Things You Should Never Do With Email.

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