Nobody likes to wait; and what’s worse is when you are waiting for someone to respond to your inquiry or invitation. But once you take the time to study your own behavior when it’s your turn to respond to someone, you can better learn the reasons why they delay.

I recently had dinner with a friend who told me about her date from a week prior. She told me that her suitor kept texting her in the following days, and she admitted that at first, she texted him back immediately, but this only led to increased texts from him, which she didn’t like very much. She then decided to “train” him by being much slower to answer his texts. He was a smart guy. Instead of texting, he began sending her emails, which she felt was a more acceptable and less intrusive form of communication. To reinforce this change in behavior, she happily replied to his emails while his texts went unanswered. So she trained him, but he also adapted to her preferred method of communication.

We all have a preferred communication style–whether it’s a phone call, a text or an email. And you probably find that in non-urgent situations, your response time to others differs based on which method of communication they used to try to reach you. For instance, if a friend or business acquaintance left you a voice message or a text message, which would you respond to quicker? As an introvert, I generally reply to a text or email quicker than a voice message. However, there are some friends and people with whom I do business with that I know I need to call them if I want an immediate response.

Are you using your preferred communication method to communicate with others, or are you using their preferred method of communication? Remember to communicate with others the way they want to be communicated with. You will get a much quicker response, all because you’ve adapted to their preferred communication style.