Since most of my work is with church committees and entrepreneurs, I often feel like I am herding cats. The video above was one that I first saw at a training for missions coaches.
With the new year, I have decided to try to get more organized. For the first few days everything was running quite smoothly. I was getting so much done! But then I realized that there is something I can’t control . . . the people I’m working with!
I turned to the internet for advice. I came across a fun infographic at Search Engine Journal titled A Guide to Working with Difficult Clients and an article by The Byline Group titled The 10 Most Difficult Clients You Meet on Earth. Although they were written from the point of view of a consultant, I realized that the tips are just as applicable to working with volunteers, board members, teammates, and even my family.
Here are some of the key lessons learned:
- get everything in writing.
- be clear about boundaries and the scope of what you are committing to do.
- milestone charts and deadlines are important (of course, this requires that you are organized enough to have them!)
- stay positive.
- if email is not working, pick up the phone.
I plan to implement some of the above ideas and see if that helps resolve some of the situations where my workplan is being delayed because of waiting for other people to contribute what I need from them. Of course, it’s important to recognize that nothing is within our control, and other people have their own work to do. But if the proper expectations are set, it’s much easier to find a compromise that works for everyone.
Do you have any tips for working with people when things seem disorganized?