We live in a world where many of us hide behind screens, anonymous comments, e-mails and pictures of ourselves and our social circles. One of the scariest things to come out of the digital age is that is has made human behavior and connection nuanced at best, if non-existent at worst. Central to human connection and behavior is communication, or the lack there of. Enter the phenomenon of “ghosting”.
Ghosting is defined as when one individual disappears from another’s life indefinitely,
progressively and/or intermittently, but almost always done via technology. So, for example, if
a person you went on a few “great” dates doesn’t return your email, calls or texts disappears
without any notice or explanation, you have been ghosted. In the dating/relationship Tinder world we live in today, that may not be too important, but when ghosting occurs in the workplace it can be career altering.
At the heart of ghosting is avoidance, which really has to do with fear of being confrontational and not wanting, or knowing, how to be honest or communicate effectively. The person that has been ghosted is always going to perceive the ghost in a very negative light. Professional ghosting is no different. Ghosting in the workplace still involves avoiding difficult conversations and confrontation. It may be for fear of hurting someone’s feelings or being inept at communication your thoughts, needs or wants. Because employers know that the digital world has reduced the capacity to have optimal human interactions with one another in the work place, they are looking to employ, and keep, individuals that have exemplary soft skills (ability to listen, empathize, compromise) rather than the hard teachable skills (Excel savvy and mastery of different software systems).
Signs your being ghosted or are the ghost and how to fix it after the jump…