Tuesday Trainings: If you deviate, communicate!

If there’s a question you’d like to see answered or a topic you’d like to see discussed, please share it in the comments or email support@wordcamp.org with the subject line Tuesday Trainings. Now onto this week’s topic.

This week’s question: What if I can’t follow through as expected?

I was talking with a colleague the other day about experiences we’ve had with people who couldn’t get done what they said they’d be able to get done in the amount of time they gave themself to do it. Not quite failing to do the thing, but certainly not doing a task in the timeline or manner that was expressed. Sometimes I can’t get something done when I say I will. Sometimes I just can’t get something done. And if my life experience has taught me anything, I’m not the only one.

And of course that can be frustrating for all involved, but there is a way to make it better. I just never had a catchy little phrase for it until I was talking with this colleague who is also a softball umpire. She said something in our conversation that I will never forget. One phrase that rang so true with me that I’m adding it to “I don’t know, but let’s find out” in its level of importance, simplicity, and usefulness. Today, I share her wisdom with you.

If you deviate, communicate.

It’s a simple statement. It’s an even simpler plan. If something isn’t going as expected, let someone involved  know. If you can’t get something done, let the stakeholders know. If you’re going to complete the project but it’s going to be late, let someone know. If something goes off track let someone know. 

We all get it. Sometimes things don’t work out as planned. There is nothing wrong with failure. There is something wrong with not communicating in the face of failure or change. Some folks are afraid to over communicate. I get that. Sometimes far too many words will just stream right out of me and before I know it I’ve said too much. That’s why this phrase resonated so much with me. Maybe it will with you too. 

Wrapping up

I said it before, but let me say it one more time, if you deviate, communicate. If you have tried and true suggestions for the best way to communicate when things go awry I’d love to see them in the comments.

And as always if you have any questions or topics you’d like to see addressed in this space let me know in the comments or by emailing support@wordcamp.org