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Favors vs Deadlines

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How you delegate work is critical to the successful execution of your goals.  Workshifters can be at a disadvantage if they work through others, or rely on people not within their control. You need to persuade people to do a task which is in your interest and moves you closer to the successful completion of your project. 

In many cases, what I find is that people are asking for favors instead of asking for deadlines.  The basis of a favor relies on the relationship, and the burden.  This is extremely limiting. If you lack a personal connection or a mutually shared objective, the foundation of your request is weak.  If you’re successful in getting the person to accept your request, they still don’t have a burden, or skin in the game.  If they don’t deliver, they can play the same personal-connection favor-card that you just lobbed at them.  It would go something like this, “…so sorry, I just couldn’t get to your really important thing, because my really important thing took priority.”

Now flip this.  Using that same charismatic demeanor, simply ask for a hard deadline.  You’ve convinced Jack or Jill that your project has merit and is of value.  Now, don’t just lead with please, finish with a hard date for completion.  They won’t be offended; in fact, this helps them as much as it helps you.  You can both sync your calendars and set realistic deadlines and milestones.  You won’t’ be bugging this person with endless emails asking about your project, and they will be able to prioritize the work along with their other priorities.  In the end, there is accountability, and you are both more efficient.

Do you ask for more favors than deadlines?

Photo Credit: energeticspell

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  • http://www.tastymisfit.com melissaleon

    Hmm good questions David, not sure what I ask for more. You’ve got me thinking now, more about how I work.

    • https://twitter.com/DavidBaeza David Baeza

      Glad you enjoyed the post. The post came about as a result of a conversation I had with a coworker. Asking for favors simply wasn’t working for her.

  • http://twitter.com/johnmharvey johnmharvey

    Brilliant point! Have them define their deadline.

  • Getreporthelp

    Thought this was really good. Linked to it in my blog post http://www.getreporthelp.com/office-communication/

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