Productivity / Time management tips

Why moving fast can equal failure

Recently I've heard of a couple of instances where hurried behaviour very nearly resulted in the loss of a sale…and that can't be good.

13 May 2012 by

Modern business moves at great speed but at times, racing too fast can compromise the quality of the outcome. I’ve identified a number of places where we move fast for all the wrong reasons. See if any of these scenarios are familiar:

1. You assume you know what’s needed

Even when you absolutely know the answer to a customer’s problem, forging ahead to a solution without fully listening to their very specific circumstances is not a good look.

Being heard is what a customer wants and the deeper you listen, the clearer the next steps become.

2. You don’t fully understand, but figure you’ll work it out later

The newbie or out-of-depth soloist tends to hurry forwards even when they know there’s a big gap where knowledge ought to be.

Speeding up dialogue or skipping over issues is used to cover for this, but is merely papering over the cracks. Speaking up beats stuffing up.

3. You’re over-excited

The excitement of a new customer or project can result in the by-passing of sensible steps or procedures. To work more efficiently, you need to take a deep breath and get back with the program.

4. You’re overstretched

Overwork happens to us all, but no customer enjoys being rushed because you need to be somewhere else. If you cannot be fully present you shouldn’t…er, be present.

5. You have a noisy head

Clearly it’s not just work pressure that messes with our mind so if you’re starting to get a bit speedy and can feel the onset of some instability, seek out some new skills or get some help.

One of my favourite quotes comes from the Dalai Lama. He said words to the effect, ‘I have so much to do today, I will have to meditate for twice as long’.

So have you suffered the fallout of the fast lane? Do you need to work more efficiently? Share your misdemeanors below.

Robert Gerrish

is one of the Flying Solo crew and supports soloists as a coach and consultant. He presents at conferences and networking events and bangs on to the media or anyone who listens, about all things micro. Along with Sam Leader and Peter Crocker, he's the co-author of Flying Solo – How to go it alone in business.

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