Skip to main content

Ghosting: Not Just a Dating Issue?

Ghosting: Not Just a Dating Issue?

The word “Ghosting” is born in the dating community. Two persons make contact, go on a first date, continue texting afterwards… Then complete radio silence on one end of the line.

No explanation, no goodbyes.

The resulting absence of “resolution” creates a dissonance effect in the mind of the ghosted party. “Why? What happened? Did I do anything wrong?”

Ghosting is an evasion tactic to avoid a potentially emotional communication. It’s also a lack of elementary courtesy.

Unfortunately, the practice has made its way into business.

A salesperson has a productive meeting with a prospect, sends over a proposal, makes follow-up attempts. All in vain… The prospect vanished off the face of the Earth. No courtesy call-back: “Thank you, we made another choice.”

In my job as a headhunter, I often hear candidates complain they had great interviews, yet never hear back from HR. No courtesy call or email. No resolution.

It’s a small world. That salesperson could later find himself in a position to decide whether to refer business to that discourteous prospect. The candidate who never heard back from HR could be hired by the top client of the company that offended her, and now have a say on whether to flow more business to them…

Moral of the story: we all have seen both sides of “business ghosting”.

Let’s think long-term; be relationship-oriented, not just transactional; be courteous always. We’ll all be better off because of it.