If you have kids you may have heard the term ghosting.It’s what people do when they don’t want to respond for what ever reason.  They disappear just like a ghost.

Sadly  my clients and I are seeing this personally with vendors, colleagues,  and prospects.  I sort of understand this with kids because they don’t have the tools to handle conflict, but adults?!?

When I teach conflict resolution one of the options is avoidance and it can work in some situations but.there is a down side

Advantages Disadvantages
Keeps you out of situations where your involvement will only result in negative outcomes for you Allows conflict to grow (snowball effect)
May keep you from harmful influence of others Sets the stage for a bigger explosion later
Buys some time (may give you the opportunity to collect information to use when you later address the conflict) Keeps any “real” solution from being found
Attention can be paid to other more important issues Causes others to perceive that you don’t care
Keeps you distant from issues others can manage without your involvement Leaves the impression that you can’t change
Reinforces the notion that conflict is bad and should be avoided
When to Use When Not to Use
Issue is not important to you Safety or ethical issues are involved that might harm you or others
Issue will not affect whether the deal goes through The relationship is not at risk or in any jeopardy
Issue is too emotionally charged and could damage the relationship, need space to “cool down”  

Take a look at the chart, the item that stands out is causes others to believe you don’t care.  If you are a vendor who doesn’t return calls or e-mails why should I want to buy from you?  Perhaps you are a prospective client, how hard is it to openly say I appreciate all you have offered and perhaps down the road but I am not buying now.  We have all met the people who want to get together to see how you can help each other but don’t follow-up on dates. I used to work with a company that didn’t return supplier calls because they couldn’t pay the whole invoice.  That was solved by creating a weekly payment plan..

How do you deal with ghosts?  Has it changed how you market yourself?  How you network? I look forward to reading your suggestions and comments.