Have you been on the receiving end of the ills of short messaging? Can short replies convey the nuances and meaning of what we hope to communicate? Do we owe it to the recipients to explain ourselves in sufficient detail, even if it demands more from us?

Recently, a friend was looking around for a senior sales and marketing role, and I happen to chance upon a one-liner from a recruiter’s post online.

Out of a genuine desire to help a friend, I enquired about the role with the recruiter, asking very politely for some brief details. I am from the human resource development field myself since the 1980s, and certainly appreciate just sufficient information to make sense, but certainly not information that would be privy only between the recruiter and the candidates.

When the recruiter replied, I was a little startled. He replied with “Absolutely not”. Now, perhaps instant and short messaging has gotten to many people today, with pressure getting on their otherwise good sensibilities. I understand that, but would have appreciated a different response from a fellow practitioner.

What could the response have been then?

As a service quality consultant, I might have said something akin to:

“Thank you so much for thinking of our firm! It would be a privilege to serve your friend and our clients in cementing a good job match together. However, it would be difficult to share too much information with a third-party from our firm’s perspective. Would you be willing to share your friend’s details and contacts with me instead? Once again, thank you so much for contacting me.”

Everyone faces work pressure these days – it is the nature of the fiercely competitive world we live in today. You have a challenging time at work. I would have an equally challenging time at work. The world is a small place and paths can cross, sometimes uncannily again and again. Like the Chinese folk saying goes, “keep an open path for people to retreat to.”

Therefore, make an effort to extend a reply, even if it means a slight delay (not a long delay), with a reply to a query, that would help reduce doubt and concerns, provide sufficient information, and most of all, create a better engagement experience or a smile to the recipient. Everyone would welcome a better day ahead.