How Wi l l You Fol low Up?
Always agree on how often and by what method you’ll follow up
on the assignment. It could be a simple email confirming the
MOVE TO ACTION 1 77
completion of a project. It might be a full report in a team or
family meeting. More often than not, it comes down to progress
checks along the way.
It’s actually fairly easy to build follow-up methods into the
assignment. For example: “Call me on my cell phone when you
finish your homework. Then you can go play with friends.
Or perhaps you’ll prefer to rely on milestones: “Let me know
when you’ve completed your library research. Then we’ll sit down
and look at the next steps.” Milestones, of course, must be linked
to a drop-dead date. “Let me know as soon you’ve completed the
research component of this project. You’ve got until the last week
in November, but if you finish earlier, give me a call.”
Remember, if you want people to feel accountable, you must
give them an opportunity to account. Build an expectation for
follow-up into every assignment.
DOCUMENT YOUR WORK
Once again, a proverb comes to mind. “One dull pencil is worth
six sharp minds.” Don’t leave your hard work to memory. If
you’ve gone to the effort to complete a crucial conversation,
don’t fritter away all the meaning you created by trusting your
memories. Write down the details of conclusions, decisions, and
assignments. Remember to record who does what by when.
Revisit your notes at key times (usually the next meeting) and
As you review what was supposed to be completed, hold peo
ple accountable. When someone fails to deliver on a promise, it’s
t ime for dialogue. Discuss the issue by using the STATE skills we
covered in Chapter 7. By holding people accountable, not only
do you increase their motivation and ability to deliver on prom
ises. but you create a culture of integrity.
1 7 8 CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS
SUMMARY- MOVE TO ACTION
Turn your successful crucial conversations into great decisions
and united action by avoiding the two traps of violated expecta
tions and inaction.
Decide How to Decide
• Command. Decisions are made without involving others.
• Consult. Input is gathered from the group and then a subset