How to Deal with Competing Priorities
If competing requests that are rejected have the potential to cause harm to ourselves or to others, then that needs to be taken into consideration. If more people asked this question then the incidence of texting-related traffic accidents would decrease dramatically as people realized the risks involved and would instead choose to wait until later to respond.Which competing request will be of greater benefit to me if executed correctly?
This isn’t an entirely altruistic exercise. An important part of determining which competing request to honor is the one that stands to benefit you the most. To succeed, you must make decisions that benefit you and your business. While this sounds obvious, many times the question doesn’t get asked because you are knee-deep in details and minutiae related to the decision-making and your best interests can get lost in the shuffle.
I’ve decided. Now what?
By asking these questions, you can determine the best course of action when faced with competing priorities. Once this is decided, you need to inform the affected parties. When telling someone you’ve decided against them, remember to:
1. Be direct. Nothing is worse than “beating around the bush” when informing someone that you are rejecting them. Its best to be direct and show that you are respectful of their time.
2. Provide context. A solitary “no” isn’t the best approach to letting someone know their competing interest lost out. In the future you may need to work with them and providing context as to why you made the decision will help ameliorate any ill will.
3. Use the proper tone. You may be tired, frustrated or otherwise upset at having to make a difficult decision, but this isn’t the tone that should be conveyed directly or indirectly to the losing party. Take the time to compose yourself and not let their emotional response cloud your rational judgment. Stay cool.
4. Move on. Don’t feel guilty about what may or may not happen to the losing party. You made your decision for better or for worse. It’s best to move on.