Back in the military, we used a thing called a warning order to let us know that some sort of operation was being planned and help us get ready for it.
It's a very good technique that you can use in your own life to increase your productivity, improve relationships and get better in your job or business.
I'll be honest, if someone springs something on me without warning, chances are that I will be resistant. I bet a lot of you are like this or at least know of others who are.
Okay, let's get down to what a Warning Order is. I like using the trusty Ranger Handbook for a reference. The format goes like this:
- The mission or nature of the operation (mission statement).
- Time and place for issuance of the operation order (coordinating instructions).
- Who is participating in the operation (coordinating instructions).
- Time of the operation (timeline).
Now this is in military speak. Let's translate that to everyday talk:
- What I am thinking about
- A time for us to talk about it
- Who all should talk about it
- Some possible times for us to do this.
Let's think about how you can use this in your life. You might be thinking about going on vacation with your significant loved one.
Do you just want to spring it on them? No.
How about you say something like, “Honey, I was thinking about just you and I going to Hawaii in October? Let's talk about it this evening.”
Here's another example for your work, “John, I'm thinking about closing the North branch office in the fall. Let's get Susan, Tom and Barbara in a meeting tomorrow to talk about it.”
See what's happening here?
We're giving everyone involved a heads up that something is coming, allowing them time to think about it and arranging a time to get input.
I know it sounds pretty simple, but I am sure you have had meetings where you walked in and didn't have a clue what it was about or someone planned something out without getting your input.
Use this and you should have much more productive meetings, better relationships and actually get the results you want.
Try it out and see how it works for you.