Despite all the time-management tools available today—including at least 3,700 apps and another 5,000 productivity-related books released in the U.S. between 2011 and 2013—people occasionally take a personal nosedive in missing a deadline, and the fallout can be painful.
“Missing a deadline is just a mortal sin in some situations and some professions, but in today’s world with so many competing deadlines and priorities, we do see it happen,” Christel Slaughter, partner with SSA Consultants, a Baton Rouge-based organizational development and management consulting firm, tells Business Report in a feature from the current issue.
So how do you handle it—ethically and gracefully? Local experts Slaughter, Mimi Singer of the LSU Office of Human Resource Management and Stephanie Henagan of the Rucks Department of Management shared with Business Report their suggestions for salvaging a working relationship and avoiding a repeat of the misstep. They suggest you explain your reason for missing the deadline, apologize, offer a penance and make any necessary changes in your work habits. Next, be sure to set reasonable deadlines going forward.
“A lot of my clients are overly ambitious or optimistic about it,” says Slaughter. “I find that people who manage their professional reputation by being more realistic about when they can turn something around get a lot of respect. And build in cushions for those unexpected interruptions—they will come.”