State Your Intentions
Before taking action, you can be proactive by making sure those around you are aware of what’s going on. From our work with military teams working in extreme environments, we have learned that one of the simplest ways to build understanding and coordinate group efforts is to require every team-member to state his/ her intention before actually doing it.
Stating your intentions before taking action allows the team to get into position to back up your decision and check your thinking for errors. This gives you precious time and save you from a disastrous course.
I announced to our management team that I’m pulling financial data for the monthly report at noon. Our project manger then informed me a major consulting project just received payment. This information hasn’t been reported to accounting yet and isn’t likely to show up in my report. I can now make a more informed choice. I can pull the data as planned and explain the discrepancy in profits, or wait to compile my report just before the meeting. Had I not communicated my intentions, I would have faced two mishaps. I could’ve presented an apparent profit loss to the board without any explanation. Or, even worse, spent valuable hours questioning other managers and trying pinpoint the answer before the meeting. By simply stating my intentions, our team worked efficiently to prevent problems.
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