Recently Idaho instituted a new law that makes going slow in the passing lane an offense that will earn you a ticket. After reading an article about how they are cracking down on people that are slowing the progress of others, it seemed to truly be a great message for our lives as well.
Have you ever had someone in your personal or professional life tell you to slow down, pump the breaks, settle down, or be patient? I know I have. It’s an infuriating thing to be faced with someone that is standing in the way of progress. Should I be expected to throttle myself back all because someone else is failing to match my quick pace? Absolutely NOT!
People that go slow in the proverbial passing lane are just scared. They are afraid of what might happen. These slowpokes should not be hindering everyone else’s pace. It happens too often in business, where a great idea will be presented and then everyone is forced to wait while certain people drag their feet. They hide behind all sorts of rationalizations for their hesitance. They ‘need more information’ or the ‘need time to consider it’ or my personal favorite, ‘lets all slow down a minute’.
No. We will not slow down because someone is having trouble keeping up. They need to match our pace or get out of our way!
I know this sounds rather combative, but more is lost by indecision than wrong decision. There will always be people that require more information. There will always be those that will never truly be comfortable with change (read: progress). However, if you find yourself faced with someone ‘going slow in the passing lane’ there are three ways to navigate the situation:
- Ask them to move more quickly. This does not always work, but occasionally people will realize that they have become the bottle neck for a decision and increase their pace. Other times this approach can have a negative impact and can cause the person being pushed to slow their pace even further. Be aware of how asking someone to “think more quickly” could be perceived.
- Get them out of your lane. By this I mean have them focus on another project. Get them off the decision making team and out of your lane. If you can remove the slowpoke from your lane, then you will be free to run full out at your objectives.
- Go around them. Both on the road and in the board room this is the most dangerous way to go around someone that is hindering progress. Going around someone will burn a bridge, hurt egos, and could bite you in the end. If you circumvent someone and succeed , great. However, if you go around someone who is trying to do their do diligence and fail, they will have more clout in all future decisions.
Don’t allow others to set your pace or to hold you back. Comfort is a very personal thing and if you are comfortable with a certain speed of decision making, by all means embrace it.
PLEASE NOTE: This is not a a blanket permission to go speeding down the freeway.