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I was wondering if I could get some advice on a situation I seem to be having as of late.

Above me I have a team of about 5 managers and two above them. My current issue is that an important email that I sent out to them (they are all on the same, separate email group) about a new role I'd like to take on, hasn't been answered yet and it's been about 2 weeks.

I feel like this has happened before but kind of worked itself out but was wondering the appropriate etiquette in dealing with this. I have a strong relationship with all the team above me and feel like I could go to them but that's the thing, I could just go to all of them, it's more like one individual as they are not all together most of the time. There was certainly a reason I was sending it to the whole team of higher-ups and not just one. I know the Manager-Tools opinion of email and Mark would probably tell me to just go talk to them. To me, though, this is just unprofessional. At least some type of acknowledgment from ANY of them stating they got it and it would be assessed would have been fine. I am currently waiting in limbo and don't know if it's a good time for a follow-up email and if so, what should be said? I know this might come out a bit confusing but thank you all far in advance!

Peter.westley's picture

Ray2006,

The trouble with sending any message to several people, especially if you need action, is that no [b]one[/b] person owns it -ie. no-one!

I would choose one of them, approach them in person and open the discussion. Don't worry too much about the email you've sent, perhaps just ask, as an introduction, "...did you see the email?"

In future, if you need action, choose one person, go to them (and of course it should always be in person if at all possible any way) and work through them to arrange an audience with the others if necessary. Sending the message to one person means they have to own it and cannot assume someone else will pick it up.

Hope that Helps

Mark's picture

I suspect their lack of response suggests that none of them love your idea, but none of them feel strongly enough about it to directly tell you so.

I can't see why your approaching them - essentially asking, "hey, did you get it?" - would be unprofessional. If you're saying that they're unprofessional, well, okay... maybe.

And, maybe not. From their perspective, it's possible your suggestion is seen as over-reaching. Maybe they generally agree with the idea, but don't think you should be in the role, and would prefer not to open the discussion because that entails giving you feedback that they don't necessarily want to give.

You might disagree with this.. as would I. But I don't think it's a terrible gaffe on their parts... particularly with 5 of them getting the mail. This suggests that you needed all 5 to chime in, and perhaps each one worries about speaking to you without speaking to the others.

Further, you may be in line for another opportunity which as yet is hush-hush right now.

I recommend you approach 1-2 (perhaps all 5, I don't know what your relationships with them are, and it doesn't make sense to me) and ask them for private feedback on your request.

There's an old rule that when one needs one's bossES votes to move forward, one shouldn't ask ALL of them until one knows what EACH of them would do. The dynamic between all and one is QUITE powerful.

Talk to 1-2-5 of them. Find out what's up. It's probably not that big a deal.

Mark