A while back I was stunned listening to a couple of the ladies in my company share their stories about their friends being “ghosted.” The more I listened, the more I was aghast!

Basically, the story went like this:

Sharrys Blog“She’d been dating this person for a number of months and came home to find they had moved out and hasn’t heard from him since. No response to her emails or texts (note they didn’t say phone call). She had even gone to the parent’s home for the holidays. She thought “we were doing fine, but guess not.”

After I gave my opinion of how I would’ve handled that tasteless, wimpy, pathetic behavior, one of the ladies laughed at me and said ”Sharry, she’s been “ghosted.”  They said it in a manner that basically made it okay!

To this day, I still can’t and won’t accept that behavior! EVER!

Ghosting is defined as the abrupt ending of a relationship by ceasing all communications without explanation. This first became an acknowledged behavior in the online dating world, where participants would receive no advance warning but suddenly be cut off by a potential partner.

Has the digital era allowed us to hide behind our devices or screens to such a point we can’t even have a general conversation; let alone an uncomfortable conversation?

And guess what? This tasteless lack of basic etiquette has now rolled into the business world (i.e. a lack of response to email inquiries, lack of responding to text messages, letting a job candidate know they were not hired, and my personal favorite – not picking up the phone to call, but “pinging” the person, etc).  COMMUNICATE!  Communication is key to your success in business and it’s what advertising and marketing firms do! This isn’t a difficult task to accomplish.

My stance on this new and “hip” behavior is that no one likes (or shouldn’t like) to be ghosted. Treat people the way you would like to be treated. As business leaders make sure your team is trained in the proper way to end a business relationship – not with an absence of communication, but with a handshake, a smile and a conclusion – no disappearing into thin air.