Several decades ago, there were essentially only two means of communication in business – mail and phones. When it came to business, these represented the two forms of intake. The pace of business was measured in days or months.
But then came the fax machine, a device now nearly antiquated, which effectively changed the pace of business exponentially. What once took several days to deliver now took just a few minutes. With that speed of delivery came an expected speed of response.
Then came the biggest game changer of our time – the internet and all its tools, including email, instant messaging, and texting. The pace of business has gone from days or months to…immediate.
And yet, even as technology has changed, humans have not.
Some personalities move faster than others, but there is still a certain pace to how we operate. Each type of person is learning to adapt to the technology they have created. This creates stress to an unprecedented level because, as we can send information out at warp speed, we now expect a response in like fashion.
In the workplace, this rush of speed and adaptation can cause issues.
For example, a D-wired business leader may issue a barrage of emails to his or her S- and C-wired team. In the mind of the D-wired leader, the task is “done” – out of his or her head so they can move on to the next thing.
To the team, however, there are details to be done in order to complete the task…and details take time.
How can teams work together to ensure the work gets done with both speed and attention to detail?
1. Start with the big picture.
Leaders often go straight to task delegation. But effective leaders will start with the bigger picture of vision so each team member understands how their assigned tasks fit the larger scope. With this insight, each individual can contribute their unique perspective to the ultimate goal. This not only ensures the work gets done, but that it gets done well.
2. Set reasonable deadlines.
“Reasonable” to many is now “instant.” But instant is not always possible…or even advisable. While we can work more efficiently than ever, there is still a need for attention to detail and quality. When setting deadlines with your team, be sure to allow time for such issues to be addressed. This saves time in the long run, as less remediation will be needed.
3. Create milestones.
Setting goals and deadlines is one thing. But to ensure a project stays on track, set milestones as well. It is easier to adjust course midstream when you realize the project is behind schedule than it is to get to the deadline and realize you are too far behind to compensate. Milestones allow everyone to connect and measure progress. This also helps your team to know how they are doing. Those who move fast tend to use terms like “ASAP,” but “ASAP” is not a defined term. Define the milestones so both you and your team understand expectations.
4. Assign tasks based on strengths.
When dealing with the speed of technology and today’s customer expectations, it is essential that each person operate at peak efficiency. This is best accomplished when you assign tasks based on strengths. When a person operates from a point of their particular strengths, there is little to no learning curve, and there is passion for the work.
5. Celebrate wins.
One casualty of today’s high speed productivity is that we do not take the time to celebrate wins. We finish one project and then rush right in to another….or we run several concurrently with no break in between. Leaders, especially, can be guilty of pushing forward without realizing the need for their team to stop and celebrate successes. Thank your team, celebrate, then reflect on what went well and how things could be improved for the next round. In the end, this approach creates even greater efficiency, as your team feels appreciated, motivated, refreshed, and ready for the next round.
To learn how you can create a team that works at top efficiency in today’s fast-paced business world, click here to learn about the Maxwell Method of Communication Impact Report.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.