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May 2, 2016

Getting What You Need from Others

Imagine how much more work we could accomplish if we didn’t have to rely on others to give us the information we need. When people don’t respond to our requests or provide the data we need to do our jobs, it’s hard to stay positively productive. Here are some tips to get what you need from others.shutterstock_85747939

  • When making requests, give the person a reason for the request. For example, “Can you send the payroll data earlier on Friday? I have to leave by one o’clock for a dental appointment.” It’s easier for them to prioritize their work to meet your request when they understand the context of the request.
  • If you find yourself in a crunch because you always receive the information you need at the last minute, send a quick reminder about the schedule and deadlines for routine tasks a few days ahead of the deadline.
  • Never give people the actual deadline. Ask for what you need a day or two ahead of when you really need it.
  • Whenever possible, have a Plan B. Find out if there are alternative ways of getting the information you need.

If this situation happens frequently, be assertive and talk to your coworker about the missed deadlines and explain the effect it has on your priorities and deadlines. Maybe there’s a good reason you are unaware of for the constant delays, and you can find a solution that works for both of you.

Sometimes, no matter what you do, you may not be able to solve the problem on your own. You may have to elevate it to your manager or your coworker’s manager. See my blog post How to Manage Lone Wolves for more information.



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