Have you ever tried to finalize the details of a contract, inquire about an overdue invoice, or follow up on a job interview only to get no response from someone you’ve communicated with previously? If yes, then you’ve been ghosted.

Ghosting Creeps Its Way Into the Workplace

The phenomenon is not new, of course. What’s different is the frequency and ease with which it happens. The term itself, ghosting, only became part of the popular vernacular with the rise of online dating. However, it didn’t take long for ghosting to move from the dating world to the business world. One day you are discussing a project or proposal with someone, and the next day: Silence. Phone calls go unanswered. Texts and emails are unreturned.

Part of the problem is technology. Digital communications don’t carry the same accountability as face to face conversations. Tools that make it fast and easy to communicate also turn genuine dialogue into short word bursts.

If you’re like most busy professionals, you’ve ghosted people without meaning to. Voice mails pile up, emails get lost in spam filters, and social media messages mysteriously disappear.  Things happen—and you fix them. If delivering unwelcome news makes you uncomfortable, consider this: Most people would much rather receive an “I don’t have an answer for you right now,” or an “I’m sorry, but it won’t work out,” than to hear nothing at all.

Good Connectors are Good Communicators

It doesn’t feel good to be ghosted. Yet the more it happens the more desensitized we become to it. Let’s banish ghosting from the business world forever, shall we? We’re all busy. We all juggle. But good connectors are great communicators who understand that great relationships are the difference between success and failure in business.