Jodi was fuming. Her website was ‘up’ but not functioning, and it was the day of an important launch.

The Tech Company Jodi hired hadn’t finished the project.

How many times have you assigned a task only to find at the last minute that it was nowhere near done!

The situation was a familiar one and here is the crux of the problem. Each party had a different criterion for finished. The company wasn’t unethical or unskilled and Jodi wasn’t unreasonable. This was a classic case of vague instructions, mind-reading, and poor Emotional Intelligence.

I calmed Jodi down so we could make a plan. I had her call the owner, explain the situation (without blame) and agree on a solution. To keep this from happening again we went over what to do going forward.

The next time you need a task completed to use these guidelines:

  • What is the time frame – when is the due date
  • Who is going to do what – in Jodi’s case she expected the company to test the webpage, it wasn’t her job?
  • What EXACTLY does finished look like. You need to be explicit about what done means to you and communicate this to your team

This last point is crucial and takes carefully thinking.

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