Professional 'Ghosting': What Is It, and Why Is It So Horrible?

Professional 'Ghosting': What Is It, and Why Is It So Horrible?
From Recruiter - February 7, 2017

Urban Dictionary defines ghosting as The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone. While the term originated in the dating world, it seems to be slithering into the workplace, too.

Professional ghosting is horrible when youre on the receiving end, but it can also be disastrous for your reputation ifyoure the one doing the ghosting.According to a study done at the University of Southern California,more than 90 percent of email replies happen within a day of receiving the message. If you havent received a reply within a day or two, theres a good chance youre being ghosted. And if you havent sent a reply within a day or two, theres a good chance youre doing the ghosting.

Getting Ghosted

No one likes to be on the receiving end of a professional ghosting. It can hurt your self-esteem, leading you to question yourself and your competency: Did I say something wrong? Could I have done this differently?

The important thing to remember if youre being professionally ghosted is to take the high road. Learn from the experience and dont ghost others. If you come across the person who ghosted you at a later time, keep calm and act professionally.

While its okay to mention that you sent them an email (or many) without getting a response, its important to clearly demonstrate that you arent holding a grudge. Its fine to feel negatively on the inside, but you should keep your outward presentation pleasant. No one likes someone who holds grudges, especially at work. Plus, ghosting may be unprofessional, but you never know what may have come up to prevent that person from responding to your email.

Being the Ghost

It may seem easy to just brush off an email without responding, but on top of being extremely rude, professional ghosting hurts your own reputation.

Have you decided that you dont want to work with someone or that a project isnt the right fit? Totally your choice, but take action and tell your potential partners whats going on. Theres nothing worse than negotiating with someone only to have them cut contact all of a sudden. Its okay to pull out of a project, but you should communicate that. Dont burn any bridges!

When you ghost someone, you send some unprofessional signals, like:

- You dont care enough or respect the other party enough to respond.
- You arent professional and do not handle professional situations with class.
- You cant take responsibilityfor your decisions.


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