“Rude and impatient”
Steven works in Atlanta. Anna in Stuttgart. They’re colleagues in engineering. Steven has a new task: FastTrack, a high-profile development project.
He needs to gather valuable data from the most important recent projects company-wide. As soon as possible. Anna had worked on one of those projects. Steven and Anna know of each other, but not very well.
Steven sends Anna an email in telegraph style and ends it with a request: „Please send any and all analysis and data which could be relevant for FastTrack.“
Anna reads the email, but isn’t sure what to do with it. It is very brief, has almost no background information, and is kind of rude. She decides not to react, thinking: if Steven is serious, he‘ll write again with more information.
Steven follows up by email the next day. Anna responds that she received the first email, is busy, will get to it next week.
Steven is annoyed. He calls Anna‘s by phone and leaves a message. The next day Anna listens the voicemail, but ignores it, thinking: „He‘ll just have to be patient.“
In the meantime, Steven‘s team lead – Craig Smith – asks him about his progress. Steven is beginning to get nervous. But, he waits one full day, then calls Anna again.
One of her colleagues takes his message. Anna returns to her desk, reads that Steven has called, wonders why this guy is so pushy. She responds by email, restating that she‘ll get to it next week. When Anna‘s email pops up on his computer screen, Steven grabs his phone immediately and calls her.
It is clear that Steven and Anna have not gotten off to a good start. What’s the problem?