Sense of Urgency?

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    Dec 05, 2010 5:42 AM GMT
    Does anyone else notice at work if you don't act stressed out or bitchy that you don't have a sense of urgency? I come into work and try to be positive and work hard and yet people are telling me I don't have a sense of urgency.

    I'm new at the place that I work so I am trying to learn what I can do. And if no one tells me and I am already doing everything I've been told quick how can I be urgent. I just have this frustration with entry levels jobs like this. I am used to working for a college the last how many years. I am used to having a large amount of responsibility and interacting with people. This has never been brought to my attention in the past.

    So is the way to develop a sense of urgency actually portray being stressed out and unhappy?
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    Dec 05, 2010 5:58 AM GMT
    Wow. I've never had anyone comment on my "lack of urgency." I have a wickedly high stress job, but I normally have a smile on my face and handle things in a laid back way.

    I'll watch this thread and see what other people say. If it's widespread, it says bad things about American corporate culture. Hopefully, it's just your job site. Who knows? Maybe you can help change the culture!
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    Dec 05, 2010 6:01 AM GMT
    To quote Catbert: "Job satisfaction is the same as stealing from the company."
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    Dec 05, 2010 6:06 AM GMT
    You might ask them what they mean by "urgency". Maybe they mean efficiency as in you aren't completing projects fast enough and seeking out new assignments?
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    Dec 05, 2010 6:10 AM GMT
    When I was a MP, it seemed that most MPs within within the Air Force preached this "Sense of Urgency" as it were something that you had to have or you were wrong. Same thing as you stated, if you weren't running, stumbling over yourself, breaking out in sweat or tears you weren't working hard enough. The type A A-holes were quick to claim you weren't doing your job because you didn't have a sense of urgency. However I've noticed that many people when they did use this "sense of urgency" made plenty of mistakes which created more work than had they just took their time and did they work methodically.

    I say do you job and do it thoroughly do each step completely then move to the next. When you rush you tend to skip steps and that can become a problem if your working on programming or data input (I'm not sure what you do). If if becomes a problem I'm sure it will come up from your supervisor or your employee review.

    Also look at ways to reduce tedious work find a way to make if more efficient if possible. It may have already been done by someone prior to you, but find a way that can make it quicker for yourself. That might get the jackals off your back.
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    Dec 05, 2010 6:21 AM GMT
    They are saying it because 'sense of urgency' is a popular catch phrase today in the workplace. I hear it all the time. My boss says it all the time in meetings and so in turn so do we and when my boss' boss comes he too uses the line. When we have conference calls, people at corporate are saying it and everyone else on the call from all over the country is saying it. I hear 'sense of urgency' so much that is really no longer has any urgency.
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    Dec 05, 2010 6:35 AM GMT
    Just humor your co-workers. If they ask you to do something, give them a generic response like, "I'll get right on it".

    Or use one of Scotty's Rules. My favorite is: if a task takes an hour to do, tell them it will take an hour and a half. When you finish the task "early", they'll appreciate your dedication and sense of urgency. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Bunjamon

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    Dec 05, 2010 10:34 AM GMT
    For me, "sense of urgency" means having a full bladder and not knowing where the toilet is.
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    Dec 05, 2010 11:48 AM GMT
    A few years ago, I worked with a team. I am in California; the rest of them were based on the east coast. Whenever I asked any of them how they were, they would always reply "bussssy" often with a quiver in their voice for emphasis. Whenever they asked me, I'd always say "Doing great, thanks."

    One time we were on a conference call and a new task was identified that needed work. Someone mentioned that I might have some extra time. I replied "Hey, I can sure take that on, but why did you think I had extra time?" The reply was that I always seemed relaxed, so they thought I wasn't as busy as they were.

    So I said, "let's say we are all going 75 MPH. You can imagine yourself as a Yugo, going at your top speed, revving at your highest RPM, with no reserve. Or, you can think of yourself as a Ferrari, just purring along knowing you can go twice as fast if you need to. Our self-image is important. Which self-image will help you step back and make sure you are approaching the task optimally and most efficiently, and at the same time with the least stress?" I also pointed out jokingly that most of the hardware and software they were working with were developed on the West Coast, so we obviously must be doing something right. I kiddingly suggested we might be working smarter.

    The point hit home. Next time I asked one of them how things were going, he joked "Things are great, just sitting here with my feet on the desk, thinking of things."
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    Dec 05, 2010 2:18 PM GMT
    If it's just your co-workers telling you to "act" like a chicken with it's head cut off, then I wouldn't worry. If your boss on the other hand says you seem too complacent, you might have a problem then. But the main thing is if you are doing your job and getting things accomplished, don't worry about it.
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    Dec 05, 2010 2:47 PM GMT
    jlk7jester said I am used to working for a college the last how many years. I am used to having a large amount of responsibility and interacting with people. ...So is the way to develop a sense of urgency actually portray being stressed out and unhappy?


    Academia and the corporate world are on opposite sides of a huge cultural divide and this is another sign of it.

    Once you prove your competence to your new coworkers I suspect they'll care less about your not joining in their little stress drama.
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    Dec 05, 2010 3:21 PM GMT
    lol, this reminds me of other corporate catch phrases like, 'moving forward."

    It became so overused that after a series of meetings at work where moving forward was repeated ad nauseum, one bright gal dryly stated that we had moved so far forward that we'd left the planet and were now orbiting Mars.

    The other one is 'our positioning'. One day one of the guys on our team that loved this expression used it several times saying, 'my positioning'. He was rather well endowed in the backside and kept turning away from us and bending down to get charts he had on a stack on a chair behind him.

    One gay guy in our group said, rather politely, his eyes constantly on that butt. "Well I really like your positioning."

    ...I had to leave the room (using 'nature calls' as an excuse) to get the laughs out of my system.

    -Doug

  • wellwell

    Posts: 2265

    Dec 05, 2010 3:26 PM GMT
    On your days off, look for a more-chill job; then, quit the complainers & tell them why!!
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    Dec 05, 2010 4:01 PM GMT
    TexDef07 said...Once you prove your competence to your new coworkers I suspect they'll care less about your not joining in their little stress drama.

    I found that while competence and work ethic were necessary, they were not always sufficient. In the context of this thread, impressions such as being too laid back and not working hard enough can become reinforced and take root. Sometimes the perception of reality can be more important than the reality itself. I think the impressions and perceptions need to be dealt with directly. The way I did it several messages above is one way. I have found that in many situations in the corporate environment, we have to remember that we do need to sell ourselves. The best product without some marketing remains the best product, but still on the shelf. In many careers, we are salesmen of ourselves and of our work.