After several personalized responses to my students over the last few semesters I think this topic is a valuable one to bring up, even if its brief. We, as IDs, sometimes give ourselves a horrible go of it because we do not set any boundaries for ourselves when we perform our work.
Sure we can make folks think we are an Iron Chef by the way we create amazing training with limited resources and oh so little time, but the reality is we are not and cannot perform like that all the time, let alone some of the time (though I don’t think it hurts every now and again)!
Too often ID’s are notorious for allowing others to railroad them into doing a ton of work in small time frames; stressing us out and making us wonder how we will produce quality in the 11th hour.
Being one of those people in my former years I encourage folks to recognize it and find ways to mitigate it. Typically once a client knows that you will work tireless hours to achieve what they want, the next time they will give you an even harder goal. When you stress yourself over that one and then still accomplish it, watch for the next one to be even more difficult. It’s a horrible cycle.
Suggestion: Try the Worst-Best Case Scenario
Over the years I have cultivated my “Worst-Best Case Scenario” conversation with clients. Politely and professionally you acknowledge the task and then indicate that given the tight deadline it is very realistic that not all can be accomplished, however that does not mean that none of it will get done.
Next ask the client in a worst case scenario if only the bare minimum could be given to the learner, what would it be. Have them flag that content/topics/agenda with you. Repeat the process of inquiry by then asking them to look at the remaining content and ask again something along the lines of “If we get this completed, what would you like to see focused on next out of the remaining content as must-haves?” After they prioritize that material then you can surmise the rest is next in line for priority which is the best case scenario.
How do you handle circumstances like these?