We all hate nagging. After all, who wants to be hounded for things they need to do? I have been a bit surprised recently by the number of people I interview who speak positively about the power of nagging.
One recent example is the team at Brooklyn Brothers, an especially productive creative agency in New York City - so productive that they not only service clients but they have also published children's books and launched a chocolate brand called "Fat Pig." Guy Barnett and Stephen Rutterford are the partners at the agency. Very early in our interview, it became clear that both Guy and Stephen are obsessed with execution. When it comes to taking action, the team has no faith in hands-off project management. Their secret to actually pushing projects forward can be summed up with one word: nagging.
Guy explained, "we repeat stuff like robots a thousand times; a best practice for us is to use nagging tempered by humor, we sit around a table and feel responsible to each other." He even admitted, "if you're annoying, people will do things because they'll want you to shut up!"
If you stop and think about it, the word nag is in the word management, and perhaps nagging (in moderation) plays a role in effective management?
I started to think about the process of prioritization, and I realized that "nagging" may be a darwinian way of "prioritizing by natural selection." After all, by natural selection, the tasks that are most advocated for are most likely to get done.
The thinking goes: When someone consistently bothers you about something, chances are it is more important than something else that is not in popular demand. Also, nagging is often an indicator that you have become a bottleneck. If you are holding up someone else's progress, then you should know about it and you might even want to reconsider your priorities as they relate to the broader team.
I'm not suggesting that nagging is a true best practice, but perhaps it plays a role? What are your thoughts on the positives and negatives of nagging?
Behance articles and tips are adapted from the writing and research of Scott Belsky and the Behance team. Behance runs the Behance Creative Network , the Creative Jobs List, and develops knowledge, products, and services that help creative professionals make ideas happen. All information (c) Scott Belsky, Behance LLC