The basic idea behind Communication is to bring people on the same page, so that they don’t have different understanding of the same topic, and hence avoid conflict. A lot of us have heard that Communication is the foundation of any relationship. Let’s see how you can use it to establish a healthy dynamic with your Manager and a great work culture.
How many of you struggle with completing projects on time? Well, all of us. Frequency can be different for different people. You had committed to finish a certain task by X date, but hey, something came up. Let’s call this ‘something’, “urgent work”, because that’s what it is. Always. (I know, I know.)
Now, what happens? You reach the submission date, your manager asks you for the work, and you tell him you didn’t finish it because some “urgent work” came up.
He gets angry and frustrated, tells you that he cannot rely on you, spoils his and your day, and moves on. You crib with your colleagues for the rest of the day, and move on.
But hey, what happened in the background? Let’s rewind!
Your manager had assigned some work to you and given a specific deadline. He is now focussing on other pieces of the project, rest assured he will get the work he gave you by X date. He assigns some work to others, starts moving multiple pieces in parallel, and has a clear plan of how he is going to achieve his end goal. (Which, is also dependent on the work he gave you.)
Then, the day arrives. He was expecting you would have finished your task and how he will move rest of the things forward based on that. But, wait. . . . You did not finish your task. And, suddenly, his entire planning goes down the drain. The project gets delayed, the momentum is gone, and he finds himself in a tough spot.
At this point, you tell him you couldn’t do your work because something urgent came up. And he says alright, because he can’t do anything about it. But does he like it? No.
What will he like? What will your Manager like if you’ve not been able to do finish a task you were assigned? Communication.
Communication, not on the submission date, but prior. As soon as you get to know you won’t be able to finish that task in time, let him know. Will he like that his work got delayed? No. But, you will have informed him in time for him to be able to plan his work accordingly. Is that important for him? Yes. Will he like you for that? Yes.
What is a Manager’s role at its core? It is to manage a project and get it completed by a certain time, by working with a certain number of people. By communicating to him in time, you are helping him do his job better. And making yourself dependable.
At SpaceBoat, we follow a strong ethic around commitment and communication. Being a startup, we are always working on projects being managed by both our superiors, as well as our peers. We have a healthy communication channel among all team members and always keep the communication going, wherever there are dependencies. For us, communication is the key to a great team dynamic, and efficient project management!
The next time you are delaying your work, whether for a reason genuine or not, speak to your Manager well in time. Try this out, and make his (and your) life easier!