In a fast-moving ecosystem like ours, there’s often never enough time to get to all the details. Case in point is a typical meeting at a startup. You have everyone take their seats, get past the agenda and straight to the hot topics. Some debate and some stake their ideas and egos against someone else’s, but at the end of it all, you have a plan to tackle the issue and get the go-ahead to get started on it.
But when you do get started, you realize that there’s some parameter you ignored or took for granted, and it could make or break the plan. You end up having to go back to square one to trace your path, find its place and make sure nothing else is broken in the process.
Here’s a little something we learnt from the countless meetings we’ve had – the next time you plan something, don’t assume anything. The next time you feel like you’re about to, try out this new crazy little method called “asking”. Unlike poker, place all your cards with the face side up the first time and make sure that you, and everyone around you, are aware of even the most minute details that go into your plan. Whether you’re a team leader or a team member, ask and clarify any doubts that crop up. If it was something silly, you’ll get a detailed response as to why it was so. If it wasn’t, it’ll spark a conversation that will possibly get rid of any future roadblocks.
By not assuming and just asking, you’re ensuring two things –
1) You have all the details ironed out and, at any point during the implementation, you can predict what’s going to happen next. (And why is this important? Because hands down, predictability is better than productivity!), and
2) Everyone is on the same page, and confusion is squashed down to almost none, which means you’re able to test out that new feature/strategy in the market much faster and with much more clarity.
Here, at Jobspire, we have a full hands-on meet every week and short one-on-one rapports every other day to get everyone up to speed and make sure that we are aware of all the assumptions that everyone else is making and vice-versa. Getting past this has done wonders for us, and I hope you’re able to benefit from it too.
P.S. – We’re not all about startups. This tip applies to everyday relationships too!