It’s been said that everyone has one of three reputations regarding follow-up:
Which is yours? Which would you like it to be? An “always” status can go a long way towardpreventing problems! Having all your information at hand strengthens your position, gives credibility that you know what you are doing and that you deserve the results you seek.They know you’ll check up on them, so they had better get it done!
Thorough follow-up benefits both your business and personal life, from the project details you delegated with results that reflect on you) to the credit on your Visa that was supposed to come through, or the order that never arrived.
How do you make follow-up work for you?
- Take notes. When you talk with someone who says they will do something, note the date, time, their name, what they promised, etc. You can use the actual document (such as an order), the back of recycled paper (one full sheet for each topic), or the Commitment list, as described below.The electronic option is described later in the article.*
- File your notes for follow-up in a Pending file which you check once a week, or if attention is needed sooner, for the appropriate day in your tickler file (a simple yet very powerful tool: 43 files–one for each day (1-31) plus one for each month). If it is critical, also put a reminder on your calendar.
- Remember to check the file each day (tickler) or each week (pending).
*The electronic option:
- Enter it on your electronic calendar and/or task list, including details and alarm, as needed
- Have a “waiting for” folder in your email program. The key element is checking it daily!Attach a reminder to something you already do every day. You will notice a sticky note only if your office is not filled with them!
If someone’s inaction can hold you back from your goals, be proactive, and check on their progress so you won’t be stuck from their inaction. Remember, we do not have to be victims. We have choices.
Most people are amazed that you have all the information at hand, and remember to follow- up, so there is no question as to what happened—and what was supposed to happen.
What are your benefits from great (dare I say “bullet-proof”?) follow-up?
- Peace of mind
- Enhanced reputation
- Problem Prevention
- Less stress
- Strengthens your position
- Enhanced credibility
- More confidence
- Can contribute to advancement in your career and Quality of Life
It’s simple. Document commitments & follow up.
You have just enhanced your quality of Life!
Nancy Hagan, Effective Executive LLC, works with business leaders who want to be more effective and productive, and focus on their highest priorities. Please contact Nancy at Nancy@EffectiveExec.com or (513) 899-9949. For information about workshops and other services, visit www.EffectiveExec.com