Is there ever a good reason to ‘GHOST’ a fellow professional?


Over the last year, I have conducted several New Business Development activities (acquisitions and funding). In pursuing favorable decisions on both fronts, I have been what my son calls ‘Ghosted.’ In the past, my generation called it being ‘Blown Off.’


The phenomena caused me to pause and ask why someone would ghost another professional trying to pursue a mutually beneficial goal. Is it that difficult to say no thank you? What is the downside of admitting that you don’t want to pursue the relationship, the deal, or the investment?

I am exploring the potential motives and the drivers behind ‘Ghosting.’ Six emotional continuums are drivers for all our behaviors and actions—Anger, Joy, Sadness, Fear, Envy, and Jealousy. In my opinion, Hope is an independent emotion and perhaps the strongest of all.

So, of these seven, Fear seems the most likely driver to me. But Fear of what?

  • Fear of hurting someone’s feelings?
  • Fear of being wrong?
  • Fear of closing off an opportunity?
  • Fear of commitment to the decision?
Great strategy requires a lot of NOs to make room for the right YESs

Well, whatever the driver(s), we are all taught that great strategy closes more doors than it opens. Commitment to a strategy, a set of goals, and a mission are critical to progressive achievement.

Remember that every time we say no, we open ourselves up to saying yes. Yes, to activities aligned with our strategies and tasks that move us toward our goals to fulfill our life or corporate missions.


There isn’t a good reason to Ghost anyone ever. Just say no, with empathy.

If someone asks why the decision is no, tell them; or if you can’t be transparent, explain that the opportunity did not align with your current strategic intent. If the decision is made timely, it is better to know so that they may direct resources elsewhere.


1) Most often, people would prefer honesty.

2) Ghosting is unprofessional.

3) Make timely decisions.

“Experience is what you get right after you need it most.”

Make it a great day!

Tim Walker

Tim Walker is the Principal Consultant for The Experia Group. A consulting firm that specializes in providing experience and expertise during critical device commercialization phases to increase the probability of your success.

One-on-one and team coaching are available. Contact The Experia® Group for a free 30-minute consultation to determine if 30 years of experience can contribute to your success. [email protected].

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