Q. Lately, I’ve had two different colleagues fail to reply to my important emails. Both were marked “urgent” but were apparently ignored. One of my colleagues had the audacity to say, “I never got it,” even though I’m sure she was lying. How can I get people to treat my emails seriously?
A. Let’s step back and approach this from a wider angle. It’s not the emails that are the problem. It’s the fact that you need to find a way to communicate in such a way that people are compelled to respond promptly. So talk to your colleagues and find out how they want to receive urgent messages. Phone calls? Personal visits to their office? Perhaps they have an aide who can serve as your dedicated contact person? Determine their preferred mode of communication and accommodate it. If they still ignore you, you may need to involve higher-ups.