We all have been there, on both sides of the Question & Answer. Perhaps there are higher continuous priorities that create the unfortunate appearance of willful neglect. Or one may not simply know the answer and doesn’t have the willingness to admit as much. Neither way is the path forward.
So when the answer becomes silent, seek another path.
Start with analyzing and researching the problem to the extent of rational logic and knowledge. Knowledge is a limited & clouded by experience and the clarity of available researched material. Once a limit is reached, escalate to available subject matter experts. This can be peers, providers and trusted networks. Sometimes, all it takes is an application example to break through. Do not settle until the new comfort level, expertise and application confidence is achieved.
I went there recently at work with a benefits problem. Spent nearly a month, which is three weeks to long, trying to pry an answer out of a benefits advisor who had no expertise in this particular benefit calculation. Once that was said, understood and the limitation accepted, a subject matter expert was engaged and resolved the gap, not lapse, in application competence.
This new found expertise gave me the confidence to escalate another related problem yesterday. Instead of letting it linger through the anguish of silence, escalation was prompt, full and successful.
Now I’m dealing with two other Answers of Silence on a more personal level. One, the answer may become, move on to another contractor. The other will be addressed directly at the service desk.
Do not go silently into the night. No one will follow you there.