That point when you are faced with the dawning realisation that the deadline is potentially going to be missed. You have several options, firstly “Don’t Panic!” I hear Corporal Jones shouting whilst raising your hands above you head running around the office! (a nod to Dad’s Army)
Sit down, take a deep breath and view your options. You could accept, say there is nothing you can do about it and you have to move the deadline or you could look at this as an opportunity, to make this happen, so you hit the deadline.
As a woman, I believe, you have unique skills to achieve this. Women have natural communication skills that often they do not realise that they have or utilise to their full potential. In this situation, collaboration is key. Taking the stance that the deadline is non-negotiable is your first step. Once you have your mindset in this space then the second step is to ask your team, what needs to be done in order to achieve this deadline?
Armed with this information you can then establish what is a need to have or a nice to have. What could wait for another version or date, and what is essential in order to hit that deadline. Women are great at being able to bring out the best in people, at this stage you can create an environment that allows the other person to say what they really think, be honest with you and make sure that no miscommunication takes place.
As a woman I believe you are not only positioned to lead this conversation but also to take responsibility of the outcome.
Why do women shy away from these difficult conversations?
I strongly believe women need to step up more to take these roles on. A deadline has been set, it has been mutually agreed and both parties have worked towards it. Moving it is not an option!
When you have agreed what to leave out and what needs to stay, have a little breather…the third step is to keep lines of communication open. Ensure that you know exactly what is happening and by when, the smaller deadlines are critical at this stage.
Lastly, when the day approaches it is vital that you are available to take any last minute questions or approve any changes.
Now celebrate, thank the team continuously throughout the process, as they are working as hard and as much as you. They also have other priorities that they may have had to put on the back burner whilst working on your project.
So Ladies out there please embrace the amazing person that you are and remember in the words of Margaret Thatcher “if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.”