Maybe that’s not ALL you need, but communications skills sure do grease the rails.
Michael Hyatt of Working Smart says responsiveness is a big part of getting ahead. When someone shoots you an email, he says, respond quickly — even if all you have time to say is, “I got your message. I’ll get back to you on Thursday.”
“So many people I meet are unresponsive. They don’t return their phone calls promptly. They don’t answer their emails quickly. They don’t complete their assignments on time. They promise to do something and never follow through. They have to be reminded, prodded, and nagged. This behavior creates work for everyone else and eats into their own productivity. Sadly, they seem oblivious to it.”
Think about it. If people have to wait for you to get off the dime, it slows them down. Pretty soon , they start resenting you. You’re perceived as an obstacle, instead of a resource. (Or maybe an ass__e instead of an asset.)
The answer: respond (i.e., communicate) in a timely fashion. That means the same day, unless there’s a real reason why not.
This has certainly been my experience. In my five years running my own copywriting business, I can’t tell you how many times I have simply turned in a piece on time — and the client goes all gushy on me. They start raving about about how great it is to work with a writer who respects deadlines, etc. Makes me wonder just what those other guys are doing. As Michael says,
“People love doing business with responsive people. Nothing will advance your career faster than this.”
More at Working Smart.