This post's podcast episode is available at Sounder, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.
When you are short of time, here is the one action that will give you 80 percent results in 20 percent of the time.
Control the perception of your reporting status.
BY DOING THIS
– Share your status beyond the reporting status meetings.
– Provide evidence of progress for credibility.
– Communicate action plans to close any gaps.
Proactive reporting will save you many stress-filled hours and gain you leader and team member confidence should you miss a deadline or outcome. The goal is to communicate constantly about whether you’re on or behind the plan. People can handle the truth but hate surprises; be the first to update stakeholders on your progress.
First, you need to know your true status. Inaccurate reporting destroys credibility and raises concerns about your capabilities. A false update is most damaging when someone on the project team has better or more reliable data—information that contradicts your own stated accounts.
If you’re on track, present evidence; if you’re behind, be clear on the gap and how you’ll fill it. Noting the activities already in play is an effective way to lower tensions and shift the focus from the problem to its solution.
GAP CLOSURE ACTION PLAN TOOL: What is my plan to get back on track?
Being clear on how and when you’ll update leaders on progress helps build confidence in your capability to get back on track because it gives them something concrete to test.
For more stories, insights and advice, listen to the Reporting Against a Timeline podcast episode with executive and change leader Jennifer Rhodes.
Phil Buckley is the author of Change on the Run and Change with Confidence, host of the Change on the Run Podcast, and co-creator of the Sharing Change with Confidence Newsletter.
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