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The Dreaded Silence: What to Do When Someone Does Not Return Your Emails

As a professional, you know the importance of emails and how they can be a vital form of communication in the work environment. It’s easy to always expect a reply, but what do you do when someone doesn’t return your emails? It can be frustrating, and it can make you wonder if you did something wrong.

Follow Up

Before you start getting upset with your colleague or co-worker, it’s important to give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they have a busy schedule or have simply forgotten to reply. A good approach is to follow up with a gentle reminder email. Keep it short and sweet, and make sure to highlight what you had initially emailed about. This way, it will be easier for the recipient to remember what the email was about and to get back to you in a timely manner.

Not All Emails Require a Reply

Sometimes, emails are sent as a form of information dissemination or as a way of forwarding information. In such cases, a reply may not be necessary. However, you should make it clear what you expect from your recipient when you send an email. For example, if you need feedback on a project, state it in your email. This will make it easy for your recipient to understand your expectations and how to respond.

Check Your Tone

It’s easy to get upset with someone when they don’t reply to your emails. However, before you start firing off a strongly worded email, take a moment to check your tone. Make sure that your email is not accusatory or negative in any way. Your recipient may take offense to this, and it may make it more difficult to get a reply from them in the future.

Face-to-Face Communication

Sometimes, the best way to get a response is to have a face-to-face conversation. This may be difficult to achieve, especially if you work in different locations or countries. However, if it’s possible, try to schedule a meeting with your recipient. During the meeting, you can discuss what you need, and they can explain why they have not replied to your emails. It’s important to keep in mind that there may be valid reasons why your colleague has not replied to your email.

Understand the Importance of Timing

It’s crucial to remember that your recipient has their own priorities and deadlines to meet. In most cases, people will respond to your emails on time. However, there may be instances where they are unable to do so. It could be that they are dealing with pressing issues or have too many emails to go through. Consider the time that you sent the email, and whether or not it was the best time to send it. If you sent the email near the weekend or holiday, it might not have been the best time as many people tend to switch off from work at these times.

Waiting for a reply to an email can be trying, especially when it’s a work matter. But it’s important to handle the situation professionally, and with understanding. Before assuming the worst, give your colleague the benefit of the doubt. Follow up with gentle reminders, keep your tone positive, and make sure your requests are clear. If possible, try to meet face-to-face to discuss the matter. Rest assured that there are valid reasons why someone may not return your emails on time, but that doesn’t mean they are ignoring you. Remember, understanding and patience are always key.

Edel Alon
Edel Alon
Edel-Ryan Alon is a starving musician, failed artist, connoisseur of fine foods, aspiring entrepreneur, husband, father of two, geek by day, cook by night, and an all around great guy.


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