I assigned a small writing job to one of my colleagues. She’s normally very fast with producing a draft for my approval but this time? Nothing.
Two things are helpful in a situation like this (“like this” means someone is creating something from scratch and it involves an amount, however small, of creativity.) One is a deadline. A deadline should be clear enough that there is agreement about whether or not it has passed. Soon is not a helpful deadline, but before lunch tomorrow works. If this is someone you aren’t able to boss around, it’s still good to include a deadline–my favorite is My request is for your feedback in time to finalize the document before lunch tomorrow.
And the other thing that is helpful in a situation like this is a template. Here’s where I blew it. This colleague drafts lots of correspondence for me, therefore how difficult could this be–it’s a letter! Easy as pie, right?
Except the letter needs to say, “I’m sorry to hear of your devastating illness and I accept your resignation from this group.” And also I’m not sure this person has indicated that they are going to resign but there is some urgency towards getting things wrapped up so I’ve also asked for a second version of the letter that says, “I’m sorry to hear of your devastating illness and although you haven’t submitted a resignation, you gotta resign anyway.” See the letter is going out under someone else’s signature and we don’t know if the guy has actually resigned…I mean you can see her point in not drafting the damn thing. What exactly is the template for that?
Still, someone has tackled this sort of thing before, right? I started to search for something that I could use as a template. Then I realized that my colleague should do that searching. We’ll discuss tomorrow.