When you make a request for information orally or by email be very clear on when it is needed by. Providing a date and time that you need a response or action taken will make it crystal clear.
Mistakes made when requesting information using commonly used acronyms that have different interpretations. We hear them all the time, but do not understand there true meaning. Here are the three common mistakes made.
1. Please provide your status by COB. If the organization is (24 x 7 x 365) there is no close of business. When do you think a response will be sent?
2. Please make sure you get that status report sent out by EOD. Now what is the end of day. If we start at different times and stay late at work and you are waiting for that status report to provide information for a deadline that you are working on. When do you think you will get a response?
3. I need you to jump on that issue ASAP. You are asking for it on this one. As soon as possible. The keyword is possible. What if that person feels they are not able to jump on the issue because they have too much on their plate that day. It will not get done and there is a possibility that it could slide two days before action is taken.
Using all those cute acronyms will eventually get you a response or results, but you don't know when. Time is being wasted and you send out another email or call the person on what is the status of getting the requested information. Well you left it wide open with no clear date and time.
Cut out the use of COB, EOD, and ASAP. People will be more accountable when they are held to a deadline with a clear due date/time.
There are the exceptions to not get your information on time. I have received some good excuses for not complying with a deadline.
My favorites excuses:
- My email is crashing.
- I'm working on it right now.
- I need to reboot my PC.
- I'm working on some issues right now that I need to resolve.