Fundamental #13: Be Fanatic About Response Time

BE A FANATIC ABOUT RESPONSE TIME. Respond to questions and concerns quickly, whether it’s in person, on the phone, or by e-mail. This includes simply acknowledging that we got the question and we’re “on it,” as well as keeping those involved continuously updated on the status of outstanding issues.

This Fundamental sync very well with ‘Get Clear on Expectations’ and ‘Honor Commitments’ and can help in exceeding expectations. Once you know what they want and why they need it, your response time should be on target and you now have the information to exceed. How do you find out? Simply ask. No need to guess. Then Honor the commitment.

A client of mine is very sensitive to response time and is always asking directly and firmly, “So, when can I expect an answer?!?” Almost all start stuttering to an answer.  When he addresses me, I always come back with “When do you want it?” He’ll give me his answer and if necessary we negotiate a time. Most of the time his time frame is usually longer than I expected. He has asked me more the once, “Why do you always meet a deadline and the rest of these people (not actual word) never do. It’s because I ask.

Bird Wisdom:
• If you are working with an Eagle be direct and give the best answer you can even if you feel it is longer than he may want it. The Eagle will work with you if you get to the point.
• Working with a Parrot is a little easier. Time frames will work but you need to meet them. They’ll celebrate when you meet it and make a hero out of you.
• Doves want you to do a good job because they are concerned a good result for everyone. They’ll be really disappointed if you go to long.
• Owls want details and a definite time frame. If you can’t meet it, you better be prepared to detail why you weren’t on time.