Have you ever noticed how good some people–men, in particular–are at answering only the part(s) of your question they feel like addressing? For example, recently, someone with whom I contracted to do a job did not follow up as promised. This is the verbatim text exchange with that party:
12:04 p.m. (Dr. mOe) “I’ve inquired about when you can meet in person with my business partner and me twice. You have not responded, it seems difficult to reach you. Do you have another job? ”
1:46 pm (Response) “Where are you trying to reach me? This number or email is best.”
Notice, he did not say that he didn’t get my previous communications. He did not apologize for not responding to them. He did not apologize for taking almost two hours to respond to my text, allegedly, “the best” way to reach him. Most women would have gone to great lengths to explain to me why they didn’t respond sooner. The man simply ignored the question, possibly because he was busy on his other job or (more likely) he didn’t feel the need to divulge that information.
Do not assume that people didn’t hear you, didn’t read all of your email bullets, or didn’t understand you. Instead of becoming frustrated and repeating yourself over and over, recognize this type of communication as a strategy to keep you off balance. My response to him—the following day—was a simple “Okay. Thanks.” He called a few minutes later and he has been much more responsive to me since he correctly translated that terse response as “You are about to lose a client.” Sometimes less really is more.
This sounds harsh, but reality is harsh. The minute you forget this critical principle, you invite a power struggle. Even the legendary Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra VII, known equally for her guile and beauty, was betrayed by her baby brother and forced into exile. Her alliance with Julius Caesar (and others) restored her status. Now this is an historic lesson in strategic partnerships. The Lesson: Love thy neighbor but watch your purse.