As you may know, I have a new book — hitting shelves in August. (PS Pre-orders help books gain exposure! If you haven’t yet, please order yours now!!) As I was drafting the text about Together Tools for people in operations or customer-service focused roles, some themes started to emerge after over 40 interviews of these Together Teammates. Ultimately, I decided to elevate these themes, and I named them Together Try-Its. The goal is to encourage readers – no matter what their role or tool choices – to test out some practices we have seen enable folks to be highly successful in their work. To that end, I thought it could be fun to run a blog series highlighting a few of these in real time – even as we use them on our own Together Team!
For those curious about the ENTIRE list of Together Try-its, here it is!
I’ll start first with Close the Loops. Around here in the Together-verse, we try to practice what we preach, and this is perhaps my favorite… not that I play favorites, of course, but I wrote the book after all!
In Together Teammate roles, we are often in a position of tossing tasks out to other people. And not just our colleagues, but our managers, vendors, those we manage, our spouses (think I’m just kidding on that one? Sort of. . . ). Tossing tasks all over the place left and right, and then we hope or pray they get done.
Well, well, well, as you may well know, sometimes, even with the best of intentions, tasks get tossed and the follow-through isn’t always there. Hence, as Together Teammates, we must Close the Loops. Here’s a personal example. . . . we ran a recent contest on our blog for a commenter to win a Together Yeti, and because I had the last one at my home, it was my job to get it shipped to our lucky winner. Heidi, a member of The Together Team, contacted the winner, obtained the address, and tasked me with mailing the box.
While I’m a pretty Together human, this required a trip to the post office (thankfully, the mug was already boxed) amidst a very busy few weeks in the Together-verse work and home life. (Hello, end of school year!). So, what did Heidi do after she assigned me the task. . . Let’s take a peek at the image below that landed in my inbox. . .
Yup, that is right. . . Heidi followed up with me exactly one week after I wrote the email to the winner, Rosanna, and one business day after I had committed to mailing the mug. Her subject line said, “Can you confirm you shipped this? 😊” With a smile emoji to boot. This is not because Heidi didn’t trust me, per se, but rather she saw it as her role to see the task through to evidence of completion, rather than the time of the task toss to me. This represents Close the Loops at the highest level.
I bet, at any given time, YOU probably have a lot of Open Loops. What would it take to close them to completion? Do you need to put reminders in your calendar? A list of items you’ve assigned that haven’t yet been fully closed out? Whatever it takes, make sure you Close the Loops!