The importance of planning ahead

Have you ever had someone call you at the last minute and ask you to drop everything and do their thing?  Annoying right?  I know I hate it when people do that to me.  Now obviously in an emergency it’s understandable, but the vast majority of the time it just comes off as the other person not respecting your time.

Now imagine you have an executive coming in for a meeting with “the troops”, and you wait until the day before to tell everyone and mention that it’s “not mandatory but highly recommended” to attend.  What does that say to your employees?  It says we don’t care about your personal time, and expect you to drop everything for this last minute thing we’ve known about and haven’t told you about.

Even if it wasn’t meant to be disrespectful, that’s how it comes off.  So now you have employees who think you don’t respect them, and don’t trust you to convey important information in a timely manner.  What does that mean?  You’ve just hurt your future power that I talked about in a previous post.

Of course sometimes you just forget to put out the message, and that happens, people understand that and will forgive you.  The key is to be upfront with your employees about your mistake, nothing will hurt you more than doubling down and refusing to admit your mistake.  Doubling down only makes your employees think your either incompetent or don’t care about them, both of which are the exact opposite of what you want.

By just saying something like “everyone I screwed up and forgot about this and I’m sorry it’s such late notice” you’ve shown remorse and owned the error.  The result is that your employees will forgive you and move on from it.  Of course just don’t do that too often or you just come off as incompetent and again that’’s not what you want your employees to think about you.

The key is to plan ahead for things you know are coming up, and notify people far enough in advance to let them plan ahead also. This will not only strengthen your relationship with your employees but foster better trust and a better working relationship.

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