Being left on read? Do this!

Sometimes when we are in high stakes, or highly emotional conversations things… well..they can get away from us. Suddenly you are discussing something that happened 2 years ago or a hypothetical that wasn’t the target of the conversation of the day whatsoever.

You’re left frustrated and going in circles to no end. Ugh.

Nothing is more frustrating than feeling like you can’t get a response you need to move forward. Getting a non-answer is worse than being left on read. (Just me?) In business, sometimes we have to push along a conversation.

Use my Cut To The Chase method to get just that – a direct answer.

  1. Start with giving them recognition of past effort. “Thanks for looking into this for me”
  2. Show gratitude and positively reinforce the behavior you want. “I appreciate you getting back to me so quickly.”
  3. Briefly explain your position. “I need to set a time where we can meet to discuss in person.”
  4. Ask for what you want in the form of a Yes or No question. “Can you meet next week?”

Are they STILL not getting to it? Follow up with this sucker and get your answer.

Use the double down:

  1. Validate what they said very briefly. “I totally understand your schedule is busy”
  2. Restate the question even more pointedly. “Can we meet Tuesday at 10:00am”

Don’t fall into the trap of softening your questions.

Assertiveness is different than being an asshole, you are still kind and courteous. Like I always say, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.

Here is what a complete email chain like this might look like:

Hi George, Thanks for looking into this for me. I really appreciate you getting back to me so quickly! What I need your help with now, is setting a time where we can meet as a team to discuss this in person. Can you meet next week?

Thanks again,



Hey Megan, You’re very welcome. What did your team think about the information I sent last week? I’m happy to answer questions over email. My schedule is sorta busy. I have had a customer come in this week that I didn’t expect. I’m not sure when would work next week.



Hi again George. I totally understand your schedule is busy. Would Tuesday at 10:00 work for you?

We can all discuss the information you sent in person then,



Megan, Tuesday at 10 will work. How about I come to your office?



Awesome. Thanks for finding time for us. If we need anything before then, I’ll reach out. Otherwise, I’ll see you Tuesday 10:00am at my office.

We are all looking forward to it!



There you have it! Simple to the point, and no room for the other party to wiggle out of getting the answer you need. Well, without outright refusing.

Try to put this into practice this week and see what happens! (I bet you get that answer 😉 )


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