How long did it take before you recognized the problem in these examples? Jane and Joe made a sketchy plan. Without agreeing on a specific deadline, that plan was doomed from the get-go. They had to play read my mind or take my best guess.
Johnson and Barb faced a different problem. The assignment included who was going to do what by when, but the details about the what were not clear. She told him to be creative, but that term is far too subjective . Once again, an accident waiting to happen.
Finally, Dad and daughter represent still another issue. By not confronting his daughter for coming in late (following up on a previous agreement) for several days running, he let Shelly assume that what she was doing must have been okay. Like it or not, Dad had given his tacit approval. At least that was what Shelly thought.
These problems are so familiar because we create them all the time. We finish a perfectly good crucial confrontation and then make sketchy plans that are peppered with vague, unspoken , and unshared assumptions. All bets are off. We can t hold people accountable to do something, sometime, somehow. It s like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall.
A complete plan, in contrast, assumes nothing. It leaves no detail to chance. It sets clear and measurable expectations. It builds commitment and increases the likelihood that we ll achieve the desired results. It also enables both parties better to have the next discussion ”for accountability, for problem solving, or for praise.