People & Human Resources

My business partner is ignoring my emails – help!

Aunty B /

Dear Aunty B,

I’m having an issue communicating via email with my business partner and hoping you can help.

It’s been an ongoing bone of contention as it takes her a very long time to reply to emails and act on what I’ve asked her to do. It can take up to a week for her to get back to me or follow up on something. I send her email and after email to get her to do something we’ve already agreed upon in person.

She is the MD of the company and has a big workload, but the situation is making my own workload bigger than it needs to be.

Can you give me any advise on how to put a rocket up her?

Frustrated,

Perth

 

Dear Frustrated,

There’s nothing worse than feeling as though you’re talking to a brick wall, but when it’s your business that’s constantly ‘out to lunch’, it makes running a business very difficult.

It’s extremely difficult, time consuming and laborious to control another person’s behaviour, so let’s think about what you can control here – your emails.

Amy Gallo of the Harvard Business Review recently tacked the issue of getting a colleague’s attention by framing your message effectively. Gallo had some good tips worth sharing here.

  • Be clear and concise with what you want. Example: “I need you to go over the marketing budget.”
  • Provide context but don’t delve too deep into details. Example: “The budget will come into effect next week.”
  • Explain the specific reason for your email: Example: “The marketing manager needs the approval to go forward with the strategy.”
  • Tell them why they should care Example: “We could lose an important advertising opportunity if we don’t get our ducks in a row by Friday.”
  • Make it memorable by providing a ‘sound bite’: “The longer we take, the more opportunities could slip through our fingers.”
  • End with a call to action. Example: I’d like to hand the budget top the marketing manager at Friday’s meeting.”

Cut to the chase and make your business partner understand exactly why you’re sending that email. If the business reasons are on the table and she’s still not pulling her weight, I suggest your problem is a little later than an email lag.

Be Smart,

Your Aunty B

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Aunty B

I’m SmartCompany’s resident Agony Aunt. Have a problem to solve? Just ask. @IamAuntyB #AuntyB

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