"No Response"

I have endured, and those around me have celebrated, the two times that I have been on doctor's orders not to talk, not even to make a sound. you go for two weeks without making a sound?

But even during these times I could not keep silent around my staff and my team. While I couldn't talk I still needed to communicate.

Silence or not responding to a request or comment is the worst thing I can do. Recently while discussing this topic with a friend he stated that 'no response' was probably a 'NO' response. While that might be the case, we leaders miss the point of our role if we are ambivalent and silent toward an idea, information request, criticism or complaint.

When my staff comes to my office with an idea or a question the worst response I can give them is 'not giving a response.' Silence in these situations communicates loudly:

  • that I don't care
  • their question is a bother and...
  • it can hurt their self-esteem

So why is 'no response' an option for some? It seems easy and it avoids confrontation.

If I don't have an immediate answer then I need to say that. If I tell them I will get back with them, I need to follow through. If after thinking about the situation and my answer is yes...go for it...I need to say that. And if my answer is NO...I need to say that.

I love times of silence, but my silence in the wrong place can do much harm to the team and/or team member.

Have you ever had a team lead give you a 'no response' response?