A managerial technique I’ve seen frequently abused is false urgency.
“Can you get me this report by close of business today?” The request is made at 4:50pm on a Friday.
And the chances of the requestor looking at that over the weekend?
And even if he or she IS going to look at it over the weekend – do you want to encourage the behavior?
- Is there another place they can get that information from themselves? (Does it need to be done?)
- What do they need the report for?
- When is that meeting?
- When was the request made of them?
- How much time will they need to review the information to feel prepared?
I get it. You believe some people “Do their best work under pressure.”
Research shows repeatedly that pressure diminishes judgement, decision-making and performance.
Are you really the exception? Is your team really the exception?
If we’ve neglected to identify an approval step, that’s one thing.
It’s good practice to determine who all needs to look at a deliverable during the planning process and identify a final approver. I’ve been on too many projects where the project champion has (yet) another person that needs to provide input before final, cutting into the time the team has left to develop the product. Use that lesson later on future projects to build in time for those approval and rework steps. Those steps tend to be what causes project delays.
If we’re setting a false deadline to motivate people – that’s quite another. And, done frequently enough, it results in low quality work, burnt-out employees and talent churn.
The book discusses the science behind pressure and the resulting stress plus some mitigation strategies.
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