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Power Plays and Players E-mail Responsiveness Communication

How do I deal with someone who ignores my email? Whenever I send him a message, I hardly ever hear back. If I contact him later, he usually asks me to send my email again. I think this is a big power play.

When it comes to responding to email, there is no question that power plays can play a role, but it is also possible that something else is at play here.

Looking first at the power issue, people are more likely to respond to email from individuals with more power, and less likely to respond to email from individuals with less power. If this is what you are facing, you should designate your email as important, indicate that it requires a response, and consider bolstering your power by copying a senior manager if it is appropriate for him or her to be in the loop. You should also use some electric power by calling anyone who fails to quickly respond to important email from you.

At the same time, there are other factors that can cause email to be overlooked. For example, your email is more likely to be ignored if you tend to send excessive messages of uneven value, if your messages are long and rambling, if you are also known for sending moralistic stories or other junk, or if you tend to copy everyone in the house. By taking a second look at your messages, you may increase the likelihood of having the recipients take a first look.

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