There’s a new phenomenon happening that we never saw ten years ago.  It is a best practice that somehow got dropped from the up-bringing, educational and training processes.

In today’s workplace, we see employees keeping vital information to themselves and not reporting it to others who have asked them for it …and need it to do or complete their job. This “sitting-on-it” style hurts everyone on the team.

In business, keeping your boss, your colleagues, and your customers up to date is essential. It builds trust in your relationships. It’s easy to say, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it,” but actions speak louder than words.

You must actually tell the person who asked for the information what you found out. Just because you know, doesn’t mean you can sit on the information. When you are asked to check into something, it is assumed that you will share what you have found.

You can get back to others with a comfort call, a timely update, or a status report. Or you can wait in silence until they call you and ask, “Hey, what’s going on?”

Nothing is more irritating than having to check up to see if someone really did what they said they would do, are still working on it, or dropped it entirely! Not knowing causes anxiety.

So why do so many people go dark after they say they’ve “got it covered”? The fact is, it leaves the requestors, guessing. It makes them wonder what’s going on, not just with the request, but what’s going on with you.

Are you deliberately going dark, hoping they will forget the request? Are you depending on them to remind you? Are you dropping it until they mention it again? Are you so late in your response that you are embarrassed to admit to your tardy status because you think you will get in trouble? Do you think they don’t need to know until the task is completed, even if weeks go by?

Do you realize that this makes the requesting party anxious? Their mind reels with the possibilities and it keeps them awake at night.

Whatever your excuse, it’s damaging to your company, your team, and your reputation as a professional businessperson!  No news is worse that bad news.

If you get a request that is a long-term, ongoing project, give the requesting party a comfort call or shoot them a memo every few days.

Timely status reporting has so many benefits. For one, even if you’ve had no progress, it puts the requesting party’s mind at ease. They don’t have to wonder about you or question your motives. It just plain shows respect. Suspense is stressful.

For another, it says, “I am keeping you up to date, so you can trust me to not drop it.”  When you demonstrate that you care about relieving their anxieties, they will see you as professional, reliable, and indispensable. When you show you care about the requesting party, they will care more about you.

In any case, do not let so much time go by that they feel compelled to ask you about it. If you keep them in the dark on a regular basis and they find themselves frequently asking you what’s up, don’t think they don’t notice. This kind of sloppiness can result in lost relationships with your vendors, customers, associates, and employers. You are jeopardizing the effectiveness of your team mates. You could even lose your job.

Show others the common courtesies you expect. Put their minds at ease. Show them you are on top of it. Earn their trust …and your own security. Get back to them on a timely basis!

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact