You’re going to have to delegate some tasks and not in the wishy-washy, “Do you think, if you get a minute and it’s not too much trouble that you could help me out?” kind of way.
That approach won’t get you any closer to a completed task or greater productivity. Failing to make a direct ask leads to frustration, guilt, anxiety and stress and not because people around you aren’t willing to help, but because of the way you asked.
Giving clear directions doesn’t mean you’re bossing people around or acting like a dictator. It simply means you’re spelling out what you need, when you need it and getting confirmation on next steps.
I call it the E.T.A. approach to conversations. It stands for Expectation, Timeline and Action Item and it makes all the difference in being able to get things done.
Committing to better business communication improves the flow of information. But that’s not all.
Effective communicators can get more done in less time by communicating their objectives, time frames and next steps in addition to their actual message.
Reading that sentence (or hearing me describe it in the video) probably makes sense.
So why don’t you do it?
I hate to be the one to tell you, but a lot of your frustrations with colleagues (spouses and kids, for that matter) are because you’re withholding information. You’re not verbalizing details that allow them to take the appropriate action, the best next steps, or the right decision.
NOTE** Don’t think you do this? Consider the last time you asked your spouse to empty the dishwasher or fold clothes. How frustrated did you get when the chore wasn’t completed on your timeline? Did you actually communicate your prefered timeline, as in, did you say, “Could you empty the dishwasher before I get back from the grocery store?” If not, you’re the cause of the frustration you feel.
Leaving key pieces of information unsaid causes frustration, adds to your stress level and isn’t an effective use of time.
Get more out of each conversation and get more done period by verbalizing an E.T.A. in every conversation. Watch the video for more on E.T.A. in conversations.
I’ve lost track of the number of times athletes have said that during post-game interviews.
I understand what they’re saying, but sometimes I think it’s a load of crap because what you’re actaully saying is I don’t care if I win or lose and everyone knows that winning is better.
But there are different ways to win in a situation and sometimes just going through a situation (and trusting the process) is a win, especially if you use it as a fact-finding mission.
Just like athlete isn’t always going to deliver the game-winning run to win the game, you are not always going to be successful in the way you hoped. You’re not always going to get the job you applied for, the raise you asked for, the project you wanted to take on but it doesn’t mean the situation isn’t worth experiencing.
Just because the outcome isn’t what you wanted doesn’t mean the conversation or experience was a waste of time.
Change your perspective and look for a way to win in every conversation and situation. The video explains more.