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How to solve the problem with lazy people in other departments


You know what it's like. You fulfill your task on time, every time, but you always have to wait for lazy colleagues in other departments. Tiresome!

Ha ha, gotcha! This is all a matter of understanding what others have to do with what you are delivering. Do you always respect their schedule and deliver on time? If so, well, then you'll get an apology, but if you don't really know what your colleagues world looks like, then you have to find out. Why not visit them and ask what you can do to make it easier for them to fulfill their job. It's in this area that really smart managers introduce job rotation in the various departments that work closely with each other to make everyone understand each other's processes better.

But OK, you knew that already. You have a lazy colleague who never manages to complete his/her tasks in time. What should you do about it? And above all, what can you do to prevent yourself from exploding with frustration?
Here are your tips:

Assume that people are doing their best. It's easier to get things done if you ask with a smile than if they see you almost boiling over.

Handle each case to other departments in the same manner you would handle something you would delegate:

1. Be clear about what should be done and what results you want.
2. Set a specific time for when the task needs to be completed.
3. Ask if there is anything more a person needs to be able to perform the task properly.
4. Confirm what they promise in your own words.

But what do you do when people don't complete their task on time or do it wrong? Be careful of two feelings here:
Aggression - to scream, yell and call people names, threaten or tell them to go higher up with your complaints, getting impatient. These are all great examples of an overly aggressive response.
Passivity - to give up, ignore, postpone, apologize or just leave.

None of this solves the problem (although it settles a problem momentarily). Be assertive instead. Please use your colleague's name when you talk to him/her. Here it's important that you stick to your guns at all times.
Say;”My department needs to get this delivered tomorrow.”Then ask (again) if there's something he/she needs to do to get it done now.

If he/she objects, repeat your wishes a little differently each time:”XXX, I need a copy of the agreement tomorrow.”Maybe he/she will reply by saying that he/she has too much to do to. When you respond with;”I understand that you have plenty to do, but I really do need the contract tomorrow. How can we work together to ensure that you can deliver it?”You can also offer help in some way by adding;”Would it help if ...?”

This is a great way to take care of the problem because when the person who causes the problem starts to become uncomfortable, most people only deal with unpleasant things if they are represented by a person that we can get rid of easily. It makes you a priority. You should be a priority!

Don't forget:

If you order something, say exactly what you want (size, type, name, version). Tell people when you want it (date, time) and how you want it (immediately, later, by mail or e-mail). Always ask what might happen that could prevent you from receiving it as agreed.

If you instruct someone in writing to do something, then presume that the person you are instructing is an idiot and will misunderstand everything you say and you will have to explain it step by step.

If you ask for a change, then explain the context to the change, why you want to change, what you want the person to do instead and offer your help to help make the change smooth and effective.





About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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