Sunday, April 30, 2017

Which is Better—Speed or Accuracy?

The following scenario occurs regularly for many of us.

A deadline to respond in writing or verbally is looming—choose this or do that within the next hour, day, or week—yet we are petrified and unable to move forward for fear of making the wrong decision or for want of more information. We want to decide, but we need more time to verify the facts and gather information.
The opposite may be true. It could be that we aren’t afraid to act; instead, we are deciding too quickly because we want to act fast or we are ignoring the details.
The example poses two pertinent questions. Should we trust ourselves, move quickly, and go with our instincts by acting as soon as possible? Or, do we wait to get all the facts and other information before acting?

This three-part series will look at doing things quickly vs. doing them accurately in a communication-related scenario. Inherently, the major issue for discussion is not simply how to communicate; instead, it is one of how to effectively make communication-related decisions when given the constraints of time and accuracy.
Three core skills are involved when facing a speed-accuracy situation: priorities management, problem solving, and decision making. All three are interrelated, and if you become good at them, everyday life and its challenges at work and home will become easier. Indeed, anyone could benefit by learning more about these skills.

However, this three-part series is not intended to teach you any of these skills or show you all the details of how to make a better communication decision; there is not enough time to do this properly via a blog. I have discussed some of these skills in previous blog posts, and training and personal development resources are easily available to you from many sources.

The goal of this series is to create awareness in a broad but simple way about the specific issues of speed and accuracy. Accordingly, I will explore the consequences and tradeoffs involved when you’re trying to be quick without accuracy or accurate without speed.

In part two, I will look at why all of this is important.

Thanks for your time, and I'll see you next time.

Randall Ponder, Baton Rouge, Louisiana USA        @randallponder