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  1. #1
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    Default Getting introverts to respond to work email

    So I thought my communication skills were above the norm but I'm finding it hard to get introverts (INTP specifically) to reply to work related emails that ask for information/opinion. In-person talks are not a problem at all. In fact I specifically give them time to express themselves every meeting.

    At first I thought this would go away as we got to know each other better. Then I started to set precedent by replying to their emails with as much info and opinion as possible. This only made it worse.

    The problem here is the balance of power. The introvert in question is on the same hierarchical level as I, so there is no established contract between us save for courtesy.

    I want them to email me their OPINION and info even if they aren't sure of it, just tag the info as 'unsure' and I'll work on the basis of that!

    I want to ask you for a solutions because I'm sure I'll face this again with others. Whats happening here? Am I intimidating them? Are they just unsure of what to say? Is it something deeper like they are incompetent and don't want to show it? Or are they guilty about not meeting some deadline and don't want to admit that they are slackers (for a weekly update email)? Or is it that they are super 'P' and have a hard time making decisions when not face to face?


    There are times when work MUST be done through email because we are working remotely. so HELP!

  2. #2
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    I don't think this is an introvert thing.... I ALWAYS respond to email, but getting me to answer my phone is a different matter. Sorry, no help there!
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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  3. #3
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle View Post
    I don't think this is an introvert thing.... I ALWAYS respond to email, but getting me to answer my phone is a different matter. Sorry, no help there!
    Agreed!

    I would actually tend to think that it's the more ExxP types, or even extroverts generally, who don't respond because they're "too busy" or "forgot" or "didn't think it needed an answer".
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  4. #4
    Senior Member redcheerio's Avatar
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    I can think of a number of possible factors here:

    - some people just hate email, especially if they are slow readers and/or slow typers
    - further, maybe he avoids email as much as possible, and wants time to think about his responses
    - extreme Ps might not like giving regular updates because they don't want you to see how inconsistent they are, they'd rather get everything done in wave of super-productivity near the end when there's pressure
    - he might not want to commit to an opinion, and feels like putting it in an email is making it his final decision

    Solution - I'm not sure what the solution would be, but maybe you could agree to a weekly email, where you email him on Wed and expect a response by Fri, something like that? That way he's prepared for it? (For things I hate, I like to know ahead of time so I can anticipate it.)

    I actually love email and almost prefer it to phone calls, because my visual memory is better than my verbal memory, so I'm more likely to remember things I've read in email than things I've heard. Also, it's there for me to revisit later. But I've worked with people who hate email, so had to change my ways for their sake when working with them.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisGuy View Post
    So I thought my communication skills were above the norm but I'm finding it hard to get introverts (INTP specifically) to reply to work related emails that ask for information/opinion. In-person talks are not a problem at all. In fact I specifically give them time to express themselves every meeting.

    At first I thought this would go away as we got to know each other better. Then I started to set precedent by replying to their emails with as much info and opinion as possible. This only made it worse.

    The problem here is the balance of power. The introvert in question is on the same hierarchical level as I, so there is no established contract between us save for courtesy.

    I want them to email me their OPINION and info even if they aren't sure of it, just tag the info as 'unsure' and I'll work on the basis of that!

    I want to ask you for a solutions because I'm sure I'll face this again with others. Whats happening here? Am I intimidating them? Are they just unsure of what to say? Is it something deeper like they are incompetent and don't want to show it? Or are they guilty about not meeting some deadline and don't want to admit that they are slackers (for a weekly update email)? Or is it that they are super 'P' and have a hard time making decisions when not face to face?


    There are times when work MUST be done through email because we are working remotely. so HELP!
    I think it's more of a "p" thing. Although, I've especially had issues with INTPs on this.

    If you find a solution, let me know. Nothing is more aggravating then needing a simple email response and you have to pull teeth to get even that.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Snoopy22's Avatar
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    I’ve always considered this as people who perform their jobs poorly, without any connection to a personality type (if part of a job requires communication, then communicate they must, or find a different job).

  7. #7
    Senior Member redcheerio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy22 View Post
    I’ve always considered this as people who perform their jobs poorly, without any connection to a personality type (if part of a job requires communication, then communicate they must, or find a different job).
    I've noticed that there are a lot of older managers who hate email and won't respond to it, but will respond to a phone call or a person-to-person visit.

    I think it's a preference thing. Perhaps linked to visual vs auditory.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Snoopy22's Avatar
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    I've noticed that there are a lot of older managers who hate email and won't respond to it, but will respond to a phone call or a person-to-person visit.

    I think it's a preference thing. Perhaps linked to visual vs auditory.
    Most of the older managers I worked with while I was at a casino liked email, it freed up their time for other work. The only ones who did not like it were the “I’m so important and busy managers always claiming the never had time due to the importance of their jobs”. Also, while attending school, the instructors and many of the people attempting to get business degrees claimed it was too impersonal and that it was always better to talk face to face or on the phone. In my experience, this makes for wasted time playing phone tag or miscommunication during face-to-face discussions.

    My view was to try to communicate in what an individual showed a preference for; it was also annoying that when other means were necessary that many of these same people had no problem not responding and causing a waste of other’s time tracking them down due their desire to communicate in only their preferred method.
    Last edited by Snoopy22; 10-10-2011 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Missing quote

  9. #9
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    Getting me to answer on a mail would be easier than anything else...

  10. #10
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    This is why I hate group work. There's always a reason why someone isn't responsive in these situations, and it's never a good one, considering that you're all there to get a job done. I don't think people like that last long, tbh. Be encouraged though, because some of the most successful people I know are known by many to be very dependable and reliable and they are responsive to almost anyone and anything (even if it's a PITA). They are the exact opposite of avoidant, and I'm positive that their success has at least something to do with that. Basically, you have to just work around this person.

    PS - I doubt this is just an introvert thing.

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