“But, Paula promised to finish that report by Friday,” Francine lamented. “Now, I guess I will have to finish it myself, to meet the deadline for the Board meeting.”
“So, your definition of finish and Paula’s definition are different?” I asked.
“What do you mean, finished is finished,” she flatly stated.
“I understand what you mean by finished and I understand what Paula means by finished. Your understanding is that the report is complete, legible, proofread for accuracy, math checked and double-checked. What you mean by finished is published. What Paula means by finished, is substantial completion of the report so she can go home at 5p.”
“But, on Monday, we were in agreement,” Francine protested.
“Yes, but you agreed on different states of completion,” I nodded. “What words could you, as the manager, have used to clarify the agreement?”