Importance of Acknowledgement in Communication
Tushar Bohra
December 6, 2017

We as human, want to be the master of our work and look forward to appraisal and recognition. Due to this primitive nature, we often tend not to communicate when required. We want to be the one to solve the problems of other, and come out as heroes. If there is a problem, we would want to solve it first and them come up, rather than acknowledging and letting others know you are with them.


I have been working on an healthcare project for quite some time. Its is an offshore product situated in a completely different time zone. These kind of scenarios often create synchronisation issue between the team and a gap of communications. As the overlap of working hours is less, its difficult to be there when the other is in need.


When the above two issues come together, i.e. a remote team acting as heroes to save the day, it is a recipe for disaster. There are often times, when I go back from work and find that there is an issue that has come up. What do I do? Stay silent as I am now out of office? Or try to silently solve the problem and when done reply as a hero? Or just be there with the team and let them know I am looking into it or will look into it once I am back in office.


Here is an hypothetical situation for better understanding-

Suppose you are the techie in-charge of your countries nuclear missile system. Someone from your team presses the launch button by mistake, which starts a 48 hours countdown before the missile goes out. They reach out to you for help desperately. You see the message, and you are aware that you can reset the counter easily with a command.

So what do you do? Keep quite and show up as an hero the next day to save the world? Or just send an acknowledgement back saying the missile won’t launch before its time. You can come and reset the timer the next day, no need to worry.


What does this do? By just acknowledging, we remove the abstraction from the situation. Its not important that we provide a prompt solution. But a prompt acknowledgement is necessary. It helps in clearing out the situation from both ends and paves a path for its resolution.