It would seem that it would be easier to get a response from someone, anyone, with all the means of communication we have today. When most people have their cell phone (smart or otherwise) with them all the time, it should be easy to call, text or email a response. And since we are all becoming more comfortable with shorthand communication (lol, BFF and other abbreviations) it only takes seconds to respond. So, why is it so hard to get an answer, an RSVP or at least an acknowledgment?
My theory is that usually there is not enough stimulus to make someone take action. Here are some examples:
So, is there anything you can do to get that response you need? Yes!
Here is a tactic I have used effectively many times. When you make the request for information, state that if you do not hear from them by a specific date or time, that you will assume _____________ (feel in the blank with whatever is appropriate) and you will proceed with ______________. If it is the first time you have asked a person for some kind of information or decision, you may want to ask them once without a deadline; then after a reasonable length of time (that doesn't put you in a bind) send a second request with the deadline. No, this is not rude. As a matter of fact it is kind. By providing the deadline, you will let the person know how important their response is and help them prioritize it among all the other things in their mind. You may also relieve them of having to make a decision if you make it for them with your assumption. Another thing to consider is all the other people that are affected if you cannot move forward; is it fair to make them wait because one person cannot or does not respond?
Here are some examples of this assumption tactic:
There are a few risks of using this tactic. You must way the risks and consequences of using it versus the ones of not getting a response: