Most of us pad deadlines just a little to give ourselves a bit of wiggle room in case our team is late providing needed information. However, setting a false deadline that leads to demoralizing behavior is an abuse of power.
For instance, demanding an immediate turnaround on an important report and then ignoring it. You’re not only wasting subordinates’ time by forcing them to prioritize differently; you’re being completely disrespectful.
“Sometimes this happens simply because high-power[ed] people are used to issuing commands,” says Monique Valcour, professor of management at French business school EDHEC, “And their power makes lower-level employees feel compelled to move the command to the top of their priority list….[they may] feel a need to make others jump just to reinforce their own sense of power.”
Time wasting in today’s pressure-packed world is an almost unforgivable offense. Respecting your colleagues’ and subordinates’ time will garner you good will and will also ensure that when there really is a tight deadline, your team will deliver.