I am sure we have all had moments when we thought …”It seemed like a good idea …”. Perhaps a time when you decided to go ahead with a project or idea and then find yourself in the middle of chaos wondering just what happened. Or a time when someone suggested “lets do this”, and then you found yourself wondering just how you got into this mess.
It could be as small as deciding to cook for a party and finding instead of 10 guests you have 30. Or perhaps, in a state of exuberance, you decide to go away for a weekend with friends only to find yourself hiking through the bush when you thought it would be a quiet time at the beach. You decide to knit a top for a baby, and choose the pattern with the holes thinking it would be easy. One year later, you are still knitting because it was the most complex pattern you could have chosen. Maybe you decided it would be great to get a tattoo and have been regretting ever since. Are you relating to these scenarios?
One of the common themes you will find in all of these situations is a lack of planning. A lack of asking questions to find out exactly what you are letting yourself in for. A few clarifying questions and some planning would prevent most of these situations.
In our personal lives the consequences can be embarrassment, pulled muscles, stress or in extreme circumstances financial implications. We can often muddle through or shrug off with a laugh.
However, in our working lives, in the business world there could be wider reaching implications and the phrase –“It seemed like a good idea…” could be the precursor to some major crises or perhaps even being fired. We can’t afford in our business relationships to put ourselves in this situation but all too often I have seen it happened and have even heard it said.
So what can we do to prevent this happening? Well as I mentioned planning and questioning are essential techniques to employ. Underlying all of this it would be no surprise to hear that effective communication skills will lessen the likelihood of you ever having to say … “It seemed a good idea…”.
When next you are faced with situation, idea or project that on the face of it looks like a great concept – stop, think, ask clear, clarifying questions, explore all the possibilities, identify risks, outcomes and consequences, make sure everyone is in agreement and knows what to expect and where they are going. In short communicate and plan.
Using these techniques you will find it not only seems like a good idea but it will turn out to be a workable good idea.