"Soon" Isn't Soon Enough...

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December 22, 2021
2 min read
Article Contents

Humor me for a second: Hold out your arms... how wide can you stretch them?  A lot, right? 

Now, I'll do the same, as far as I can reach... how far? A lot...

"A lot" seems [quantifiable] until there is a difference in our assumed unit of measure.  Clearly, your arms aren't the same width as mine, yet we both stretched them to the point of "a lot"...

Just as the phrase above is hard to quantify, so is the concept of "soon"...   

"Soon" could mean:

  • In the next few minutes...
  • Within the next day...
  • Sometime next month, and so on...

How soon "soon" is perceived is directly related to how badly we need something, or how much we would rather put it off.  

"We'll have xyz done for you soon" speaks nothing to the timeliness of the work being done and although the statement will suffice for most who receive it if the "soon" of your client, customer, or donor is misaligned with that of your organization, the question of "when" may enter the conversation at the least opportune time - leaving you scrambling to save face or a longstanding relationship and in most cases, placing you in a position that makes it look like you had forgotten about them.

For all of the reasons mentioned above, we as a company are making every effort to remove the word "soon" from our vocabulary - in favor of actual timescales and expectations for exactly [when] you will be hearing from us.

Now, "talk to you soon..." is replaced with "talk to you by or before Wednesday..." 

Pro Tip: With this new shift in vernacular also comes a new set of calendar reminders to ensure that we live up to the expectations being set in our correspondence. 

It has taken some asserted effort for sure, but the enhanced communication and deeper levels of organization achieved have been absolutely worth the effort! 

Thank you for reading and see you again by or before next Friday!  (You see what I did there?)  😉

In case you were curious, the word "soon" was used 9 times in this message - including this sentence (I thought it seemed like more too).

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Dottie Rutledge

President, DR & Associates
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