How to use urgency to get things done with a group
Unfortunately, being around this type of person when you actually want to get something done can be frustrating. These same relaxed people, who assure you that anything can wait until later, don't return emails. They don't return phone calls. In this situation, their relaxed attitude makes them flakes. And if they do accomplish anything, it always waits until the last minute.
So, to get these people moving, they need to feel a sense of urgency.
I often think about a slow group playing golf ahead of me. Many times I've wanted to shout, *Let's go! While we're young!*, but really that's no way to make friends. These sluggish, relaxed, slow-moving people are quick to take offense at being rushed. To them, they're moving as fast as they can, even though to me I would need time-lapse photography to detect any motion at all on their part.
Luckily, as a Graphic Designer, there has always been urgency. Deadlines always seem to get people moving. If they have all the time in the world, they will always put things off. So, my mindset is always deadline-oriented. And that means that I need people to lead, follow, or get out of the way.
What's the rush? Take your time! are words that I have always heard from people who are essentially roadblocks to my getting anything done. Why, yes, I'm in an infernal rush.
So, select a timeframe, and work back. If something needs to be done by September 5th, give people a reasonable amount of time for people to do their part. Yes, they will wait until the last minute, but if you're any good, you can work around that. Give them a deadline of September 2nd. That way, when they are three days late, and apologizing profusely, you can be magnanimous. Many people need to feel like they are rushing in at the last moment, giving it all for the team. This is normal human nature. Accept it, deal with it, and fly with it.
Posted by Brad Hall