Create a Sense of Urgency

When you can’t afford to miss an opportunity or need to avoid a big mistake, create a sense of urgency to prompt your employees and coworkers to act now. Follow these tips:

  • Explain why the time to act is now. Every decision can’t be urgent or else none will seem so. However, when time is of the essence, offer reasons why. Perhaps you have an opportunity today that you won’t have in a couple of weeks or you have to act immediately to avoid a costly problem.
  • Share the benefits of acting now. What will the organization—and its employees—receive as a result of moving forward with a plan? You have to spell out what’s in it for your team if you expect people to jump on board and execute a plan quickly.
  • Describe what’s at stake if you don’t act now. Telling people how they will be worse off is often more powerful than telling them how their lives will improve. Don’t exaggerate or be overdramatic, but honestly point out what the business—and they—could lose if they fail to act.

— Adapted from “Three Ways to Create a Sense of Urgency When You Communicate,”

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