In any relationship, communication is key.
Whether it’s a marriage (and I’m on my second, so I can verify this is true), a friendship, or a work relationship, it is essential that you communicate.
Something that I’ve noticed much more of since I opened my East Coast studio is that people don’t answer:
- the phone
And it’s really frustrating.
I get the phone part. I hate the phone. And I used to talk on the phone all the time.
And emails – I’m so far behind on emails right now after my trip – well, I was behind before I left and now it’s just ridiculous. But they’re all emails in my promotions and forums tabs, not my personal ones. The personal ones I answer right away.
I try to keep my emails clear and focused with a call-to-action so that people know what I’m asking for. I’ll admit my emails used to be much longer-winded, and I’m trying to focus on one call-to-action per email (which means that I have to send multiple emails, and I hate to do that, but it seems to get better response). I try to include “Response Requested” in the subject line and that seems to have some effect.
But people don’t answer them. I’ve been told by young people that they find emails intimidating because they come from authority figures.
I have no idea why other people don’t answer their emails.
I have even less idea why people don’t answer their texts, particularly if they’ve indicated that this is the best way to contact them. And honestly, I can’t text everyone individually, especially if they’re all getting the same message. It’s not efficient.
All I can say is that if I don’t get a response to an email, I don’t know what you want or need.
I don’t know if you’re planning to be somewhere (a rehearsal, for example), so I can’t plan it.
Last Saturday I had a rehearsal planned for our upcoming studio showcase. I set this up before I left for my vacation. Multiple people told me verbally that they intended to come. I brought my keyboard out to the garage and set it up so that we could rehearse out there (I have several cat-allergic folx, plus it’s roomier).
When I got home from my vacation, I was offered a gig for last Saturday afternoon. A paying gig with a 4pm call. I turned it down because I had committed to being there. It wasn’t a great gig, but it would’ve paid for a tank of gas.
Three people came. Two at 1:30. Several people I had planned to see from 2:30-4pm contacted me that morning to tell me they couldn’t come (one had a medical emergency). I saw one other person who was coming from Montgomery County, because she was already on her way when I texted her to tell her that her scene partners weren’t able to make it.
If you have a professional relationship with someone, whether they are paying you or you are paying them, your half of the deal is to communicate. If you do not, you have no relationship.
It shows complete disrespect and makes the person feel completely unvalued.
This may seem like a very personal post, but from what I’ve heard from friends in other fields (not just teaching), this behavior is rampant.
And it can cost you – if you have an email offering you an audition/interview or a job and you don’t answer it in a timely manner – not only will you not get that job but you may be removed from their mailing list. So you’re sabotaging yourself as well as the relationship with a potential employer.
Please check your emails and answer them.
Communication goes both ways.
Respect the person with whom you’re in a relationship.