We recently received a call from a senior executive of a local company stating, “I have a very talented group of junior executives who excel in their roles but have a habit of not responding to invitations. Can you teach them the importance of responding?”
While we see and hear this acronym frequently, R.S.V.P.s are often ignored. Despite the fact that most invitations are now electronic, making it easier than ever to R.S.V.P., people still often fail to click a button: “YES” “NO” or “Maybe”. Been there, done that?
Let’s start form the beginning: R.S.V.P. is short for 'répondez s'il vous plait,' a French phrase meaning, “Please respond.” Anyone who has planned an event, meeting, or party can attest to the fact that people often do not respond in a timely manner, if at all, despite the request for a reply. While responding to an invitation may seem like an afterthought for the recipient, it is crucial to the planning and success of the event.
Here is what you communicate about yourself through your reaction to an R.S.V.P:
1. You R.S.V.P within 48 hours:
Organizer: Great! This person is organized and knows where are they going to be at what time. I like that they are upfront about their plans – I like their confidence; I can depend on this person, and better plan my event – they are respectful. Even if they need to cancel, In the future I will trust them and find them generally dependable.
2. You R.S.V.P after a week:
Organizer: Jeez, this person took their sweet time. I would assume they feel they are too busy to bother responding or do not value the event or my time as the event organizer. They are coming across as disorganized and disrespectful.
3. You R.S.V.P after the second reminder:
Organizer: The only excuse for this person is if they were in the hospital or in the a remote area with no mobile service. This behavior makes them look rude, disrespectful and unprofessional..
Next time you receive an R.S.V.P., press the button A.S.A.P. Please respond!
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The team at the Etiquette Academy is dedicated to helping businesses strengthen their teams through effective communication, well-developed interpersonal skills, and knowledge of basic rules of etiquette.