Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Soon, Immediately, ASAP or Now?

Which of these would you do first?  What is the difference?

I recently saw these four words on different bullets on the same chart.

As a senior leader, which one do you think I was supposed to react to?  Should I have to assume that “now” is before lunch but “immediately” is sometime afterward?  Or possibly, “ASAP” means today where “soon” is sometime this week?

Communication is hard enough without using words that seem to mean the same thing but don’t.  There is a simple way to avoid this – use a date and/or time.  This is particularly true when you are making commitments, describing risks or asking for help.  Your leaders are pulled in many directions and will react to the requests that are easily understood and input into “their system.”  To be a strong team player, you need to understand the system and fit your needs into it.

Trust me, “soon, immediately, ASAP and now” cannot be calendarized (I did not make up this word, but someone else did).

Do you find yourself or others talking in general terms on exacting topics?  How do you help avoid this pitfall?

1 comment:

Roly said...

Good post. It reminds me of an old Goerge Carlin joke..."here comes a moment, here it comes, here it comes, oops it's gone". Saying that, I think "Now" and "Immediately" would catch my attention more than "Soon" and "ASAP" if I was at the airport for example (flight number XXXX is boarding NOW).

Add to Technorati Favorites