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Are You Being Ghosted in Your Organization?
February 16, 2023
Ghosting. It happens after a business meeting that ended in an agreement to move forward. It happens after a job interview, followed by a promise to follow up. The longer the silence, the harder it is to avoid the conclusion that they don’t want to follow up. Ghosting in the workplace leaves employees wondering whether they would be more appreciated somewhere else. The answer to why people engage in ghosting is benign neglect — well-intentioned noninterference in hope that a situation or problem will resolve itself. In business, however, neglect is rarely benign, and it erodes the trust that is essential to a collaborative and collegial work culture. When you find yourself the victim of ghosting, be professional and direct: “I understand sometimes plans don’t pan out. If you’ve decided to go in a different direction, please let me know.” When you need to deliver bad news, just do it. Send an email. Simple, clear communication doesn’t take much time or effort. It earns goodwill by showing respect and consideration, which may pay off down the road. And you’ll preserve your own humanity by treating others the way you would like to be treated yourself.
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