I do not remember when I first discovered this saying. I do remember thinking, “I need to remember this!”
Lack of planning on YOUR part does not constitute an emergency on MY part. Or, lack of planning on MY part does not constitute an emergency on YOUR part. It works both ways!
I wanted to remember this phrase because I have been both the perpetrator of forcing an emergency on someone else due to my negligence and I have been the victim of others’ negligence. In either case, it does not foster healthy relationships or a strong work environment.
The best way to avoid pushing emergencies on your teammates is to plan ahead and communicate. Taking a few minutes to prepare for your day, your week, your month is well-invested time that pays huge dividends. You may deceive yourself into thinking, “I don’t have time to waste planning out every task and every step. We just need to get it done!” This is a deception because you will spend more time correcting errors, explaining, and reworking than if you had communicated a plan from the start.
So, the next time you are tempted to push your disregard onto someone else, pause and take responsibility for your misstep. It may be necessary to apologize. Then move forward by taking the time to plan and communicate with your team.
Gabe Lett, FSMPS, CPSM, LPC