Every once in awhile, we all come across a situation in the office that turns us into Estelle Castanza. When we need something from George, we usually start with “hey George, can you get me those TPS reports by Noon”. At Noon, as usual, the nagging commences.
How can you be less naggy and get what you need in a timely manner?
The right approach really will depend on the person involved and the reason they never seem to meet your needs. You’ll need to consider the obstacles and find ways to solve them before lobbing in your request.
Approach 1: Value Exchange
If George doesn’t complete the necessary task because it’s just not important to him, how can you create a value exchange that compensates George for his attention to these reports? What can you give him in exchange for getting what you need, when you need it?
Approach 2: Be the Shiny Penny
If George doesn’t meet his deadlines due to lack of focus (or, as we call it in my house, shiny penny syndrome), what can you do to make the TPS reports the shiny penny? Is he bored when doing them? Maybe you can bring a cup of coffee and hang out while he does them. Find a way to make the task less boring for George.
Approach 3: The Calendar
Maybe George is just bad at time management. You could try booking time on his calendar for the task.
Approach 4: The Trick
George might be suffering from many of the above scenarios which calls for some trickery. In this case, you’ll want to book time on his calendar, but the meeting topic will need to be the shiny penny. Ideally, the shiny penny is also something that he wants from you, so you’ve combined approaches 1, 2 & 3. Then schedule the meeting for a long enough period that he can also accomplish the dreaded task.
Generally, if we really take the time to think about the reason we have to nag, we can find a different communication approach to get what we need without turning into Estelle.