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... is a quick tip ezine for Managers who believe in "Results Derived from Within"
Written by: Vickie Bevenour
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Coach Vickie Bevenour
Using Contracting for Success
In July I promised you discussion on three coaching techniques to help you cut through the daily chaos. The second of the three techniques is “Contracting”. How often does this happen to you?
- You have spent the last three weeks working on a project, you go into the big meeting to present your work and someone (client, manager, a senior corporate leader) says “This is not what we asked you to do!”
- Your project is delayed because someone (co-worker, a supplier, a team member) did not provide you with timely information or promised input with which you could complete your task. As a result you end up working until 3 AM in order to meet the deadline.
In both cases your “pain” could have been avoided through better or more complete “contracting”. I don’t mean that you need to have your attorney in tow, nor am I talking about playing “let’s make a deal”. I am requesting that you look at the situations you face in your interactions with others and carefully examine when you could clarify the desired outcome in more detail than you do now.
My client, who is the leader of a large complex proposal center, recently told me this story. He and his team were tremendously overwhelmed with proposals. A sales person came to him and said that he needed the quote completed. When my client asked for the configuration, it had not been done. In order to complete the job, my client pulled one of his best technical people from another job to do the configuration and complete the quote. Afterwards when I asked what the “real” obstacle was, the answer was that the salesperson did not have a sales engineer. The question that stopped my client in his tracks was “whose problem is that?” The answer was that he was enabling the bad habits of others rather than addressing the problem head on.
The solution: He began “contracting” with the sales people by requesting and clarifying the roles of each participant, including himself, thereby removing the incorrect expectations. This enabled him to do his job more efficiently by eliminating the need for him to perform tasks that were clearly defined roles belonging to other people.
Ask yourself the question, “What bad behaviors are you enabling”? What would happen if you suddenly stopped enabling these bad habits? What would happen if you went to others and asked them what was preventing them from providing you what you need to get your job done?
Congratulations, by asking the right questions and then more clearly defining your outcomes, you are well on your way to deriving results from within.
If you like the tip, let us know but more important, share it with a friend or colleague. As always, YOUR SUCCESS IS MY GREATEST PLEASURE.