...You Won't Make Your Deadline
What to say when you agreed to a deadline but now it's clear you won't be able to meet it. Here's the situation. The deadline is coming up for a project and you need more time if you're going to do it well. Here's what you may be thinking but shouldn't say. Here's the solution. Find out how firm the deadline actually is, and ask for the additional time you need. Here's what you could say. Using curiosity: "Is there any buffer or cushion in our schedule for this project? Because it looks like I'm going to need some extra time to finish it." Using generosity: "If you can give me a few more days to complete this, it will be of a much higher quality than if I submit it on the deadline. What is your preference?" Or humility: "It looks like I was a bit too optimistic in my expectations of how long this would take, and I will need another day or week. What's possible?" And humor might be appropriate here. "I've been practicing wishful estimating again, and it's gotten me into some trouble her...
e." Here's the overarching idea. Time is of the essence here. Waiting and hoping things will somehow get better is usually the worst thing to do. So as soon as you know that you won't be able to meet the deadline, let someone know and ask what kind of extension is possible. Involve them in the decision, so it's not you giving an ultimatum. Give them a heads up so they can prepare or make others aware of the delay, because the earlier you address it, the less negative impact it's likely to have. Now this conversation may be difficult, but you can guide it and keep the focus on the value and the quality that you and your team want to deliver for the client. Make sense?
It’s always important to know the right thing to say in various situations, but it’s particularly important at work. Getting tongue-tied or putting your foot in your mouth when speaking to a work colleague or superior could get you into trouble and impact your ability to thrive in your career.
So wouldn’t it be great if you had a virtual archive of precise language you can use in any professional situation? For example, what might you say when someone at work loses a loved one, when office politics get ugly or when a colleague isn’t pulling their weight?
Taught by Ilise Benun, an author and teacher known as the Marketing Mentor, this course provides you with concrete advice and guidance about how to handle a wide variety of situations and conversations. Using bite-sized videos that portray real-world situations, it will give you the tools you need to communicate clearly, appropriately and assertively at work.
In this class, you’ll learn how to:
- Communicate with everyone in your professional arena, from bosses to direct reports, vendors to clients.
- Avoid miscommunication when possible and recover from it when you can’t.
- Go from people-pleaser to self-respecting professional.
- Know the right thing to say at the right moment.
- Take time to assess the situation before making your response.
- Know when to speak and when to stay quiet.
- Decide whether a written or a verbal response is more appropriate.