One of the more enduring concepts i have co-developed is the perfect nag. The idea is simple enough, you are working with someone, they are supposed to help keep you on schedule or on task. You can predict some ways you will fail in your work, often this is missing a deadline.
So how does your perfect nag respond to this failure on your part? Just as you pre-programed them to. Perhaps you are someone who is best motivated by gentle encouragement. Perhaps you need a firm task master. Perhaps you need to work with a peer on setting another deadline which will fit the current circumstance better. Perhaps you need failed deadlines to have harsh consequences that will modify your behavior to take new deadlines more serious. Perhaps this time you should just let it slide.
Whatever you need, the perfect nag will provide, because you have “programmed” them before the failure to respond to you with the kind of encouragement/threat you need. As with any important relationship, there are significant advantages to negotiating responses to communication break down or failures in maintaining agreements before they actually happen.
So here is the challenge. Think about the person you are most bond to in agreements, the person who is most affected by you doing what it is you say you will do. Go to them and have a frank conversation about how they can best support you when you come in below their expectations and less than your commitment. Go design and implement your own perfect nag.
[Edited by Judy Youngquest]