Follow-through is the engine of progress.
Poor follow-through, poor results.
3 dangers of poor follow-through:
- People don’t respect you.
- Procrastination drains your energy like a dripping faucet.
- Team performance drops. People end up waiting on others.
7 reasons people don’t follow-through:
#1. People stop following through when you don’t follow up.
You devalue follow-through you when you don’t notice progress. (Yes, people should follow-through without being noticed. So?)
If it’s worth bringing up, it’s worthy of follow-up.
#2. People don’t follow-through when you assign busy work.
I had a boss who assigned “cover your a** work (CYA).” I never did CYA work until she asked to see it.
#3. People don’t follow-through because you’re a meddling control freak.
Everything must be done YOUR way. But people tend to resist being treated like robots.
#4. People don’t follow-through when they are over-booked and stressed-out.
“More for less,” eventually becomes a losing strategy.
#5. People don’t follow-through because they avoid conflict. Make it easy for team members to bring up awkward issues.
Listen to problems when they’re small and easy to solve.
#6. People don’t follow-through because you confuse them. Instruction or direction isn’t clear.
#7. People don’t follow-through when initiative is punished. People wait for you to tell them what to do.
How to handoff so people follow-through:
Peter Bregman* observes that lack of follow-through is the result of poor handoff.
- Where is this project on your list of priorities?
- What’s the next step?
- What’s the timeline for taking the next step?
- What do you need to bring up before we end our meeting? Any concerns? Possible issues?
- Who needs to know about our plan? Who is going to tell them? How?
- When is our follow-up meeting?
- How can I help?
What might leaders do that hampers follow-through?
How might leaders help teams or individuals follow-through?
*Adapted from, “The Secret to Ensuring Follow-Through,” Peter Bregman