Whether following up with people or on projects, leaders know the secret to success is follow up.
But just because you know it, doesn’t mean you enjoy it.
What is your attitude going to be as you follow up?
Let’s face it: following up is a pain. People should just have the common decency to respond to our request, shouldn’t they? Even if they’ve decided “no,” they should at least be polite enough to inform us.
But they don’t.
Have you ever thought about how your attitude to following up influences how people respond to your follow up?
And if we’re not vigilant, that “you shouldn’t be making me follow up with you” attitude will fester. And grow. And like a piece of food left in the backseat of a car parked in direct sunlight stinks up the entire car, your attitude will stink up your entire communications.
Don’t believe me? Go to your mailbox and read the latest direct mail fundraising letter you got. Most have the “you shouldn’t make us have to ask you” stink – a very similar odor to the “you shouldn’t make me have to follow up with you.”
A Quick Follow Up Hack
Fortunately, there’s a quick action you can take. A sort of hack. As you do your follow, remember to smile. People can “hear” a smile.
And it’s really hard to be angry and smiling at the same time!
Leading requires action. And a significant part of that action is in pleasant, persistent follow up. So just pick up the phone.
And it may also help to remind yourself that people have very full lives and probably do want to respond to you. They’re just busy. So smile. And dial.
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