No staff – need to find ways to say yes!

A complaint I hear over and over again on the blogs as well as live at conferences is I am only a one person shop or my office only has so much time and we are overworked. I can understand up until June 1, 2008 Gettysburg had a one person web communications shop. I have used the line myself from time to time to explain why I wasn’t able to get back to people or accomplish a task on time. However if we are to make an impact at our institutions I think we need to keep 2 things in mind:

  • Create a customer service mentality
  • Find ways to say “yes”

There is nothing worse for your “on-campus” reputation than to be considered an office or person who constantly says no or we can’t or don’t want to do projects. I think by taking a customer service approach and finding a way to have success and help departments accomplish their goals (finding a way to say yes) you gain lots of respect and have a positive impact on your campus.

Of course this is easier said then done and sometimes you just can’t do it all but by finding ways to make projects happen you will gain lots of friends, find partnerships, and create opportunities for future collaborations. I have always found that the projects that I collaborate with other departments are the projects that have the most impact for Gettysburg.

2 Responses to No staff – need to find ways to say yes!

  1. tobykeeping says:


    Another thing you can do to be customer centric is to ask more questions. I’m not suggesting that you don’t, but saying “NO” is easier if you can get the person proposing the project to self-identify that it’s not actually needed. If you don’t already have a “Project Initiation Form” with a series of important questions that demonstrate a project’s importance, this might be a good way to force those “fringe ideas” into a self-filtering process where the project leader self-realizes this isn’t a priority for you, or the institution.

    Saying “YES” to everything is just as dangerous (perhaps more so) than saying NO.

  2. predfern says:

    I think your suggestion is a good one and asking the right questions is important. You are also correct when you say that saying YES to everything is dangerous and time is limited and we need to spend time on institutional priorities.

    But I think you can find a way to say yes…maybe it’s not everything the person wanted or exactly how they wanted it but you can help them solve their problem.

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