What question doesn't deserve an answer?


Did you ever ask a leader an important question and not receive an answer?  

Have you ever had the experience of asking someone a question on an email or text that never receives a response or an answer?

I have experienced this more than I care to admit.  What particularly troubles me is that it often happens when I pose work related questions to people in various leadership roles.

 So what is it that is upsetting about his phenomenon?

John Maxwell defines leadership as influence.  Influence is enhanced by building relationships of respect.  This implies that both individuals recognize the inherent value of the other person, even when there is disagreement and even dislike.  Because someone doesn't think like me is no reason to disrespect them by devaluing who they are as a person.

 Not responding to someone communicates disrespect.  It says, "You are not worth my time and effort to respond to you".  No one deserves this type of devaluation. Every question deserves an answer.

 I was once in negotiation with a highly respected law firm.  I posed an offer to the attorney representing that firm in question form. I received no answer.  A couple of weeks later I asked why I received no answer.  The attorney responded, "No answer was an in effect an answer".   I lost all respect for this attorney and the law firm he represented.

Leaders constantly need to work on influence building to build credibility and engagement.  Leadership is a process not a position.  Treating others with the same amount of respect that we would want to be treated with is fundamental.