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formulating N/As for @agenda

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  • formulating N/As for @agenda

    This might be outside GTD's scope but perhaps someone in this community has thoughts on it. For projects in the n/as requires me to get opinion, input or committment from another person (who is the big boss), I am finding it hard to move forward on.

    When I seek the information, I get a vauge answer, or it gets thrown back at me.
    For example-- me:"Before we commit to a particular way of doing X project, can you tell me about amount of money you want to spend on it? Response: "Whatever it takes" (which I know is not the case) or ""Get me all the other expenditures" (which I cannot do because I cannot get the information).

    "Can you give me some times you would want that meeting scheduled"? Response: "Anytime after the 11th". Me " Since this meeting involves 4 people and you are central to it, I need to make sure that you can really be there before they commit themselves". Response "see when they are available".

    Or, me "Mr. X will be in town and you mentioned that this is the type of person you would like to have tour the facility. Here is the information on him. If you want me to pursue this I will need a date from you and your approval to pick him up from location W. Also, if you should become unavailable, I think we should have a back-up person to meet with him. Any thoughts?" Response "Just set it up and tell me when it is".

    Or, me "Here is a folder with clippings and resource information on the ABC project. Can we sit down and see what you think is relevant and what you think is not?" Response: "Just give me the folder and I will puruse it ". Then the folder gets lost.

    I think I need to break these down intoreally tiny n/as so that I get an answer that I can use to move along the project. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    It sounds like the person(s) you're dealing with want(s) you to use your judgement, take the lead and make some decisions upfront, then they'll respond to what you propose (or not)...So for example you could say: "I've scheduled the meeting for Jan. 5 at 11 am; I'll assume that works for you unless I hear otherwise." I find that i get "decision-making overload" and they may be too, so they want you to take on more of that.

    In the case of the clippings file, I would choose the clippings i think are most relevant, make a copy to keep, and give a copy to the boss to if they get lost, you've still got your copy.


    • #3
      I think you are right!


      • #4
        I think we have the same bosses!


        • #5
          Do what he says

          Meeting at 11A on the 5th?! Try 5AM on the 11th.
          Do it and get it off your list and put it in your followup.
          ex. Confirm meeting day before.
          Call or email once a week re folder.
          Expenses List them out and over list them. Then let him cross stuff out.
          Just do it and follow up.


          • #6
            I agree. I have a boss who doesn't deal well with too many options or open-ended questions. I've learned to either come up with an option that I've thought through and let him modify it, or give him a multiple choice decisions. "I've scheduled the meeting with the visitor on xx date at xxx time. I recommend we you have a back up person if you can't make it and would suggest either John or Susan. Do you have a preference or if you would like me to proceed differently." Something to that effect.

            It does sound like he wants you to think things through for him and just run it past him....he/she probably has a lot of decisions to make and would like things simplified for him. The staff who do this for me are GOLDEN!

            Reading you post is helpful to me as a manager to learn to ask that of my staff specifically. It sounds like your boss hasn't cearly deliniated which decisions are yours to make and how he wants info presented. Which does get back to GTD which talks about clearly defining roles.