Give it to me in Three: Effective Communication Strategy for Time Poor Managers

Given the challenges, and constraints of heavy workloads, the modern Manager is a time poor creature, whom exists on a diet of coffee, mints between meetings, and the occasional back slap on getting a mammoth delivery in on time and under budget.

Historically, people had traditional lines drawn around their role, and rarely did anyone step outside the definition of their job. With corporates forever ‘streamlining, ‘restructuring’, or as I heard one callous GM refer to the dreaded ‘R’ as ‘tying up loose ends’, the reality for most people working in the corporate sector is that roles constantly shift, there’s no ‘safe seat’ and more oft than not, harassed managers juggle multiple roles, steering committees (for that too hard basket no one wants to touch) and of course, the aspirations and grievances of direct reports.

Most of us rely on other people to help us fulfill certain tasks within our own role; whether you are sourcing information, waiting for a response or action – we need each other to get the job done.

With everyone stretched to capacity, I’ve outlined a communications strategy to help colleagues stop and think about what they want, which in turn, allows for faster management decisions –

The Three Bullet Request & Response

If you need an action from someone, think about what you want from them, what they want from you, and assess the impact of inaction before you engage them.

The three questions you can put forward to your colleague is simply:

1. What do you need?
2. When do you need it by?
3. What happens if I don’t respond in time?

The Three Bullet Request & Response can also be used for managing projects when you require an end of day status update –

1. What did you achieve today?
2. What’s next for tomorrow?
3. What road blocks do you require assistance with?

By using a sweet short sharp approach, everyone is happy because colleagues can be quicker to respond to requests, and you can be straight to the point when making a request, and hopefully, those extra ten minutes you save each day in effective communication means an early mark on Fridays!

Till next time, crack a queer whid!

WordSmith Jo

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