The Power of UIHD


ACTION Leyland National - dashboard

ACTION Leyland National – dashboard by ArchivesACT, on Flickr

You’ve seen me going on about GOYA – Get Off Your A$$, and suchlike things. But now I’ve heard an even better acronym, one that is changing the way I do things within the various teams I work with. I bet it will change your ways, too.

The acronym is UIHD – Unless I Hear Differently. It comes from a cute (if ungrammatical) little website by the Fizzle guys, whom I’ve mentioned here before.

It replaces asking questions and waiting for responses. Or rather, it pretty much guarantees a response to the questions you might have been asking in vain. It announces action, or as they put it, it fosters a bias towards action.

“Unless I hear differently, I will be putting the newsletter out tonight with the content that I currently have.”

“Unless I hear differently, I will book the meeting on this date, and I hope everyone can make it.”

See where I’m going with this? It takes away the passivity, the waste of time waiting for responses from people who have other priorities.

It can be dangerous, of course. You have to give people a reasonable amount of time to let you hear differently, and you have to listen if you do. But at least you aren’t sitting around twiddling your thumbs. If you don’t hear differently, just do.

I do understand that we don’t want to step on people’s toes. I was in a situation just last week where a group of people waited for fifteen minutes for somebody to take initiative, to take charge of what we were doing. Everyone thought that somebody else was going to do it. That sort of situation can be avoided by UIHD, if implemented gently and tactfully, of course.

There’s a large amount of trust involved here, too. If you rush in and don’t know what you are doing, you can cause quite a bit of harm to your enterprise by not waiting for clarifications. UIHD is not license to be a jerk.

What do you think, is this an approach that appeals to you? If not, why not? Let me know in the comments below!

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One Response to “The Power of UIHD”

  1. Peter Wright Says:

    Wonderful reminder of the good old days before political correctness and un-restrained touchy-feeliness eviscerated good and decisive leadership.

    Also a reminder that in certain situations, action must be ordered not requested and compliance must be mandatory not debatable.

    While agreeing that UIHD should be used tactfully, I think its re-introduction is long overdue.

    I particularly liked its suggested use for lovers on the Fizzle website.
    Peter Wright recently posted…Asparagus for a Healthy Life: Fact or Urban Legend?My Profile

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