Dealing With The Pressure For Instant In And Out Results At Work Or Anywhere
Bill Cottringer

Many years ago I wrote about the need to slow down, because the hectic pace of living that most of us were getting caught up in was causing physical distress. This is certainly not new news, but the plot has thickened during the last decade, especially at work.

In the workplace today, there is more and more overload and complexity to deal with, less time in which to do it and even more pressure to get quicker and easier results dealing with the mountains of overload without the needed time. Of course, most businesses being lean and mean, have less people to accomplish this all. This is a train wreck waiting to happen. It is time to pause and think about what is happening.

Because of the economic troubles we face today (because of this demand for quick results to complex problems) there is more pressure for employees to get instant in and out results so we can get out of this economic mess before it trumps us. That is, if any of us can catch our breath in the process and survive the distressful, pressure demands to succeed in getting the results.

Here are some legitimate “yes, buts…” to consider in response to this speed insanity that is driving the train to a train wreck. We have to take the time to be more thoughtful in creating more such uncommon sense solutions to the speed paradox or there won’t be a happy ending to this story.

• Quick and easy results may result in half of them that we can’t even use, won’t give us what we need, or won’t work out in the long run. It may be the time to learn what is best for now and later, rather than either or, and when to shoot for balance and when not to.

• To get quick results, you have to deal with more and more complex overload, and that takes more time than seems to be available. Somehow we have to figure out how to take the necessary time to do things right enough, which usually takes some time to sift the uncommon sense from the common nonsense. Recognizing the uncommon sense is a skill we can all improve upon.

• We don’t know anything about getting any kind of results in the Information Age. This stuff is all new and we can’t even form realistic expectations based on factual knowledge as to what is or isn’t realistic and doable. A lot of it is time-consuming trial and error.

• To get quick results you have to simplify things. This often results in the loss of relevant aspects of something that always seem to have a way of coming back to make what results we get less useful and lacking quality. It’s kind of like skipping the scraping and sanding aspects of house-painting.

• Getting results involves finding answers and solutions, but it is often asking the best questions that gets the best results. Finding the right questions to ask is rarely a quick and easy process.

Giving some thought to these and other legitimate “yes, buts…” to the speed insanity converges on the only possible solution—a collaborative one in which:

1. The Pressure demanders for quick and easy in and out results must get real about the unreal expectations they are communicating and the undesirable results they are getting. They need to pause and think about what they are wanting and asking for, and how they are asking for it. More than anything, they have to accept the reality that they really don’t know how to get the results they want because they don’t know what they need to know.

2. The rest of us have to get smarter by learning to ask better questions and work smarter in recognizing aspects of the overload that are more imaginary than real, or that aren’t relevant to the particular task at hand. We have to work faster, not more; it’s the more that isn’t getting done that is the stressor. And we have to be open to learning what we don’t know to be able to do this.

If this sounds like a compromise, it is. Getting to a win-win outcome instead of the usual win-lose one, requires both sides of the equation to collaborate on repairing inaccurate or incomplete versions of their realities for us all to get the whole picture by sharing our pieces. As the saying goes, the truth is usually in the middle; but the trouble is that one person rarely has a good enough vantage point to know where that middle is. That takes collaboration, even with the smartest of people. Which side of this equation are you on, and what part of your reality needs a slight repair job?

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA and also a business and personal success coach, sport psychologist, photographer and writer living in the mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, The Prosperity Zone, Getting More By Doing Less, You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too, The Bow-Wow Secrets, Do What Matters Most, “P” Point Management, Reality Repair, and Reality Repair Rx. He can be contacted with comments or questions at 425 454-5011 or