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Friday, February 11, 2011

Follow-up

In work groups or project teams their is usually a gap between “I say” and “they do.” It’s a huge mistake to assume that just because people understand, then they will actually go out and do.

A few years ago, I saw a doctor for back problems. After running a few tests, the doctor sat me down and quickly rattled off 10 different exercises that I was supposed to do regularly. He assumed that once he had made the correct diagnosis and told me what to do, his job was done. Knowing about how most effective communication works, I realized there was no way that I was going to remember what he said, much less do it.

But the doctor had checked the box on his to-do list. Time for the next patient!

It is really simple, but often hard to commit to do......Staff Won’t Follow Through Without Follow Up

In a perfect world, every directive and plan is not only obeyed but obeyed precisely and promptly. The manager never has to follow up — because he/she said it — it was done.

We usually assume that the people around us are smart, and they can understand what we’re saying and see the value of our remarks. We’re often busy and overcommitted. We all wish we could just move on to the next item on our list.

The good news for every leader, is that this false belief has a simple cure. It’s called “follow-up.” After communicating, follow up to make sure that people really understand, talk with them to get a read of their buy-in, and involve them to make sure that they’re committed to execution. Follow-up may take a little time, but it’s less than the time wasted on miscommunication.

How do you follow up with employees and team members?


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