To build your capability to function effectively under such pressures, you have to learn to negotiate with your boss, clients, or anyone who needs your time and expertise. These six practical steps can help you negotiate project assignments without feeling that you are constantly overloaded and behind schedule:
Allow a reasonable time for a quality job. Tim is a brilliant design engineer working in a medium-sized firm. Tim often promises designs in an attempt to please his company’s clients and frustrates himself by not leaving enough time to meet his own standards. Lately, many of Tim’s designs required redrafting because of sloppy work. When he does get it right, he is often late in delivery. He sets the deadlines! What’s the problem?
Tim is inclined to overestimate his ability to deliver. Become a tough and realistic estimator. Restrain your optimism. Make accurate estimates of what it takes to do a job, and then don’t commit yourself beyond your capabilities.
Determine the specifications. With either boss or client, take the time to determine what it is they want. It may not be immediately obvious. You may have to ask questions to get to the heart of the matter. Don’t let diffidence or shyness get in the way.
Take Jane’s case. Jane generates several key management reports each month. Her boss recently requested an additional summary report. Reluctant to appear ignorant, or to press her boss too closely, Jane gleaned a superficial understanding of what the ...