In one of the companies in which I previously worked the MD spotted that progress on a number of things was proving sluggish.

Pace was being slowed down by what others were saying “I’m waiting on so and so to come back to me” or “I’ve not had a reply yet”.

His guidance to the team was rather than allowing yourself to be at the mercy of someone else, to take back control of the situation and use the words “unless told otherwise here’s what I intend to do…” in all aspects of your communication; face-to-face, phone, email, letter.

The view being that if you tell people in a forthright manner what you intend to do by a certain date it prompts the person with whom you are communicating to respond. If they don’t want you to do the thing you said you intended to do then they will shout loud and clear and quickly. In which case that’s fine….at least you have their attention and you can re-plan together.

I found it to be helpful guidance to help move through what seemed like treacle at times.

Who are you waiting on for the next step? Could these words help you proceed more quickly?