Responsiveness Is Respectful

Feb 18, 2022

As a solo practitioner, I carry my business cell phone with me, whether I’m in the office, at home, doing errands or living my life.

When the phone rings, I answer if I can. I’m somewhat surprised when the person at the other end expresses some amazement that a human answered. I guess we’ve come to expect that communication by voicemail, email and text messaging is the norm. My disposition runs counter to that understanding. As a mediator, I’m contacted by people who are facing challenging circumstances who deserve my attention—even if it’s only to say that I’ll call them back when I have more time if I’m otherwise busy.

Of course, I don’t always answer, and you may get my voicemail. However, I can assure you that, whether it’s a voice message, email or text message, a quick response will follow, even just to acknowledge you.

I believe that responsiveness is a simple act of respect. It validates you as being important to me, because what you are calling me about is usually very important.

I believe that responsiveness is a simple act of respect. It validates you as being important to me, because what you are calling me about is usually very important. The sooner you have a chance to share with me your needs and concerns, the sooner you will feel heard.

Just as I put a priority on being responsive as a crucial element in crafting a strong professional relationship with a current or future client, you can do the same in your relationship with your spouse and co-parent.

Communication at the end of a marriage can often be tense, and there is a tendency to avoid contact. Nevertheless, your ability to provide a timely response to a question or request is truly a visible sign of respect. In most cases, your future communication will revolve around your children, and you each deserve to be heard by the other, regardless of whether you agree. Think of it as a contribution to maintaining a civil relationship. The beneficiaries may very well be your own children.