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Frustration with non GTD people

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  • Frustration with non GTD people

    Just wondering if other people encounter this.

    You go to a meeting, and someone says "Wouldn't it be nice if the dongles had tabs on the outside?"

    And everyone goes "Yeah, that would be cool." Then they continue with the meeting agenda.

    And you never hear about it again.

    Or you talk to someone you haven't seen for a while, and they say "We should get together for lunch sometime. I can't do it this week, but I'll send you an invite later." And you never hear from them again.

    Forget pollution - I think the sky is full of open loops that never get closed!

    Even better is when people get mad at you when you follow up with them, because you diligently collected their casual comment! Haha!

  • #2
    I totally know what you mean. One thing that irritates me to no end is when people commit to something, and then when I call to follow up with them they have forgotten they committed to it to begin with.

    Not quite the same as your example, but in both cases the same issues come up over and over!

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    • #3
      To me it's not a problem. I know exactly what "would", "should", "maybe" and "later" mean. These words mean "never". So I don't even have any expectations from the start.

      The most annoying people are the flaky ones, you know the ones that are as reliable as the weather, cancelling plans or not returning phone calls when the time comes.
      Last edited by DanGTD; 09-11-2008, 12:08 AM.

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      • #4
        Hi,

        I am in an environment where no other person is a GTDer. I have accepted that it does not mean that they are irresponsible; they just can't track their commitments. Some of them have their own ways of tracking things. Other's don't. All I have to do is meticulously use my 'waiting for' list to pursue people!

        Regards,
        Abhay

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        • #5
          Originally posted by abhay View Post
          I am in an environment where no other person is a GTDer... All I have to do is meticulously use my 'waiting for' list to pursue people!
          Great comment, Abhay. I think most of us are probably the only GTDer in our respective environments.

          The main point, and you indicate is that we can track our commitments and the commitments of others!

          - Don

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          • #6
            We may be GTDers, but we need to be intelligent in other ways as well. Not everything that comes out of a person's mouth is a committment -- not my mouth, and I suspect not yours, either. It's our old friend human nature, resistant to systematization (and thank goodness, I say). So let's listen with discrimination and not take every utterance with the same level of seriousness, OK?

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            • #7
              Next Action?

              When things like this happen to me, I just ask "What's our next action?", followed by "Who is responsible?" or "What day can you have that back to me?", etc.

              As a GTDer dealing with non-GTDers, it's my responsibility to steer the ship.

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              • #8
                I try to follow the "would should" means "never" philosophy when dealing with what others say so that I don't get unrealistic expectations. However, one thing I've had trouble with with other people on is the expectation that many have that someone will forget when you ask them to follow up. I don't forget. When someone says, "Oh, check back with me about that tomorrow," I put a note on my calendar and check back with them tomorrow. I've found this annoys non GTDers because they're not used to that. and they weren't really expecting you to bother them about it the following day. So, I warn people when I hear something like that. "Will tomorrow really give you enough time to think about/act on this?" And they think about it and go, "Actually, no. Why don't you check back with me on Thursday?" Funny thing is, this also seems to get *them* to think about the action item more concretely as well and everybody's happy.

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                • #9
                  I also work with all non-GTDers and find the waiting for list essential. I also find my calendar very useful for when I'm waiting for something from someone for a vague time in the future - in those cases you can put a note on your calendar to ask them about it, and if when you get there it's still not time, you just move the note to the next week/month.

                  In meetings if people have ideas and are about to move on to something else, it's really useful to say "so what's next with this?", as it' gets people thinking what the NA is.

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                  • #10
                    I also don't see the problem. If I have to live with the consequences of others dropping the ball, I either track the people involved on my Waiting For list or get them to clarify their next actions -- to me and to themselves. I don't have the patience or the motivation to lecture other people on open loops.

                    It boils down to predictability. People who don't have a system to manage their tasks can't be expected to follow through with them, so those people require additional management. If I ask someone to do something, and I don't see them writing it down, I immediately write it down myself to track in my own system. I could lament that they "should" be more responsible, but there's absolutely no reason to be surprised when the ball drops. I have a calendar, tickler file and Waiting For list to issue reminders when appropriate. I track every deliverable I expect anyway, regardless of whether or not the people involved are GTD users.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MiataPops View Post
                      When things like this happen to me, I just ask "What's our next action?", followed by "Who is responsible?" or "What day can you have that back to me?", etc.

                      As a GTDer dealing with non-GTDers, it's my responsibility to steer the ship.
                      Yep - You must resort to being a Project Manager and steer the ship. I totally agree with that.

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                      • #12
                        Over time some people do get it

                        My experience is that some people DO get it over time. That is, they know I have a system and that I will follow up with them so they keep their commitment. And because I was a non-GTDer myself for a long time I accept that not everyone will get it when I want them to. Some people will get it when they're ready. Some never will and that's okay too.

                        There are two things I do now consistently which slowly educates those around me - I use the language of Next Action and I warn people that I follow up on commitments.

                        Cheers

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