Note: Material extracted from The Effectiveness Guide.
Have you ever wondered how to get ahead at work? How to be the person who always gets the raise, gets promoted, gets selected for further training and key assignments? And, you’re not alone. Your peers are having the same thoughts.
I’ll bet you thought that all you had to do was to be the best at what you do. Unfortunately, this is only partially true.
To progress in your career, you must be the best at what you do and be perceived by your employer as someone who follows up, follows through, can resolve their problems and unresolved Issues, and knows the process of Delegating.
What does that mean and how can you become a better Delegator?
This article will focus on Delegating, how you can enhance your value-added to your employer, as I share what I’ve learned from being an Executive Coach for more than 20 years.
What is FOLLOW UP?
“I think intuition can be a form of answered prayer. You do the best you can – thinking, figuring, planning – and then you pray.”
– Conrad Hilton
One of the biggest problems new people experience is a failure to Follow up.
Follow up is a subsequent action taken if there is no response (or a negative response) to an initial action.
There are three types of Follow up:
Type 1: What you do when someone declines to buy from you (negative response).
Using a sales example, if a prospect declines to do business with you, you still have an obligation to following up. If you sent a letter, email, or voicemail and received no reply, Follow up means continuing to contact them, until they respond. After that, continue to add value to your relationship; to help the person you are trying to contact.
Type 2: What you do when you are trying to contact someone to correct a problem.
If you are trying to contact someone to resolve a problem (like poor customer service, a faulty product, or a delayed order), record the date you called, whom you spoke with, and the response you received. Always leave a voicemail message giving your name, phone number, a description of the problem, and a request for a return call.
Always document your Follow up action. After you’ve called several times, sent several letters, with no response, show up and get your problem resolved.
Type 3: What you do when you ask someone, who does not work for you, to do something.
The third type of Follow up comes when you ask someone not a Direct Report (like your leader, peer, vendor, supplier, or friend) to do something. Follow up by contacting them a few days before the deadline to ensure everything gets done.
For example, let’s assume you’re responsible for organizing a company luncheon for your leader. As you review your Assignments List, a few days before the luncheon, here’s what you might say on the phone to a vendor:
“Hi, Mary. This is Joe from ABC Company. I’m calling (no email reminders) to confirm the luncheon for Tuesday, October 10th, at 11:30 AM? (Exactly what you asked her to do a month ago. Be specific!).
Is everything still on track? Any problems or concerns? Did you get the change to the headcount? We’re now expecting 50 people, not 25. Okay – Great!
I know you’ll do a great job! (Encouragement!)
Please call me if there are any changes, questions, or problems. Here’s my cell number, 816.xxx.xxxx.
Thanks again Mary and I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday.”
Also, during the luncheon, ensure someone (hopefully, you) publicly thanks Mary and her whole team for a wonderful luncheon – that’s real character!
What is FOLLOW THROUGH?
“You have to have confidence in your ability, and
then be tough enough to follow through.”
– Rosalynn Carter
The second biggest problem new people have is a failure to Follow through.
Follow through is the process of returning to the asker, either face-to-face or on the phone, and reporting the status of their request.
There are two types of Follow through:
Type 1: What you do after your leader or customer asks you to do something.
Make sure you have a clear understanding of what they want done (the end-result) and when they need it completed (the Deadline). If you have questions, ask! If you can’t deliver, speak up! Then, Follow through (Return and Report via face-to-face or phone) after completing the assignment. If you cannot complete the assignment as requested, Follow through (Return and Report), explain the problem, and what you recommend be done to resolve it.
Always under-promise and over-deliver!
Without Follow through, your leader or customer has no idea what’s happening. Let them know what you’re doing. Be responsive – Follow through as soon as possible. If you Follow through, you’ll stand out from the rest.
Return and Report is the
most important part of Follow through!
Type 2: What you do after asking a Direct Report to do something.
When you ask a Direct Report to do something, ensure you tell him WHAT you want done (the end-result) and WHEN you need it completed (the deadline).
Ask him to Follow through (Return and Report, via face-to-face or call) when completed.
Avoid telling him HOW to do it-unless he’s clueless.
Also, if he cannot complete the assignment, ask him to Follow through (Return and Report), explain the problem, and what they recommend be done to resolve it.
In fact, the best people I know do something special, they
Over-Communicate! They Follow through even if they have
nothing new to report. This way, I knew I wasn’t forgotten!
I challenge you to share this information with others because the only way to truly own knowledge is to give it away – one of the great paradoxes in life.
Following Up and Following Through are critical to your career!
In my next post, I’ll continue focus on how you can become a better Delegator than you were yesterday by using Preventive Actions.
Stay tuned! In the meantime, if you need more help, you can learn more HERE.