RAB Research Archive

Ever Miss a Deadline?



Personally, and professionally, we all make commitments, or we have tasks to perform that have deadlines. Even with the latest technology, keeping focused and meeting the expectations of your co-workers, clients and family can be a struggle. While we are all human, missing a deadline feels horrible, embarrassing and gives you a terrible feeling of failure.

My hope in writing these daily sales tips (and sharing my own mishaps), is that they will be helpful and prevent these mistakes from happening or that you at least know how to handle various scenarios – yes, even mistakes.

Recently, I had an important project deadline and had to submit information that was just a part of a larger project. The organizer was counting on the entire team meeting the deadline of close of business on a Friday. He was assembling pieces of information from many people, then he had to organize it and present for final approval. It was a crazy week (but which one’s haven’t been in 2020?). The Friday afternoon deadline was rapidly approaching, and I knew I wasn’t going to make it. I knew the work was important and I was prepared to spend time over the weekend doing whatever was required to get the information together for him.

The problem?

I didn’t let him know that I was going to miss the deadline. I was embarrassed, feeling like a failure and knew he was going to be disappointed. So instead of saying anything, I just kept working on the project, and got it to him first thing Monday morning. What I didn’t realize was that he too was going to work on it over the weekend, and if he didn’t have all the information he needed, he would be waiting by his computer waiting for it to come in.

The lesson:

It’s not a question of how, but when we get off track. When you get off track and know that you’re going to miss a deadline, the respectful thing to do is let the person know that you’re going to miss the deadline. Tell them when you will have the task completed and stick to it.

Missed expectations are likely the number-one cause of conflict in the workplace, in the home or in a business relationship. Missing the deadline is bad enough, but not telling them or setting proper expectations can turn a minor issue into a big deal.

If you’re going to miss a deadline for someone, let them know, and as importantly, let them know when you will have the task completed.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB





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