Being “responsive” is more than a question of timing. Your voice and “default” tone matter.
What do you sound like as you respond to others? What would you like to sound like?
It might help to make a list:
- Friendly, open and available – even when saying “no”;
- Positive / “can do” / constructive / helpful;
- Interested / engaged;
- Empathetic – someone who is actually listening;
- Thoughtful (about the matter in hand);
- Thoughtful (towards the people involved) / caring / kind
- Energetic / enthusiastic;
- Focused on what’s important.
Where do you tend to slip up? Do you slip into being…
- Vague / wooly / noncommital?
Some of these (good and bad) will come naturally to you. Others (in my case, clarity and focus) need work.
So go to work.