There is a growing trend of bad manners in the professional world that is becoming more mainstream than it should. It’s called ghosting. First used in the dating world when a date would fail to respond to a follow-up call, text or email, it is now being done in the business world. Professional ghosting is very passive-aggressive, but it can irrevocably damage your reputation and ultimately your career.
Types of Ghosting
Ghosting can happen in various professional relationships. From hiring to firing these “disappearing into the vapor” actions are annoying, rude and can earmark you as a flake. To make sure you aren’t inadvertently derailing a promising career, take a moment to assess whether you are guilty of professional ghosting by asking yourself some behavior-related questions.
Ghostly Job Seeker
- Have I been given a name of someone to connect with about a job, that knows I have been given their name and failed to reach out to them?
- Have I reached out to network with a professional in an organization I’m interested in and failed to follow-up to arrange a time to meet?
- Have I ever applied for a job I wasn’t that interested in and ignored a follow-up email, voice message or text from the potential employer?
- Have I accepted a position and failed to show up for the first day of work? (Yes, people do this, I couldn’t believe it either!)
- Do I ignore emails, voice messages, sticky notes left at my desk from a co-worker when I do not have time or are not interested in the message?
- Do I accept help or advice from a co-worker or supervisor and never follow up and let them know how everything ended up?
- Do I set up times to speak to or meet face-to-face with a peer or potential client and fail to meet the commitment?
- Do I only follow up with someone when I need something from them?
If you are honest with yourself, we’ve all been guilty of these types of behaviors from time to time. However, if it becomes normal, repeatable behavior, this is where real damage will (not can) be done to your reputation. After all, good manners are the keystone to personal and professional life.
“Manners are the basic building blocks of civil society” – Alexander McCall Smith
When good manners are used, people notice. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that good manners have the potential to earmark anyone for greatness. It is very important to realize when you “ghost” someone you do not demonstrate good manners, pure and simple. Why? Because ghosting someone is ignoring them, and nothing is more rude than ignoring someone.
This rude behavior doesn’t stay between the ghost and their victim(s) either. People talk, and no one hates anything more than when someone has been dismissed. It demonstrates:
In short, when you ghost you tell someone, and their entire network, that you are egotistical and unreliable. Actions do speak louder than words. Manners do matter and ghosting is the epitome of bad manners.
So if you are a “professional ghost”, be prepared to watch your career slowly disappear into the thereafter.
Timothy Dimoff Knows Best Practices for Success
As a former law enforcement officer, Tim Dimoff has firsthand experience with the effects of good and bad interpersonal skills. His life lessons applied with 40+ years’ experience in HR related topics help provide insight into the nuances of human interaction. Contact Tim to schedule the Tim’s Talk Habits of Exceptionally Successful People or purchase a signed copy his book “The YOU in Business”.