Work against passive resistance

It’s not easy to say no. So some people always say "yes" … but don’t necessarily do it! It’s not worth blaming them, neither is it to hope that it’ll change by itself. So how to introduce the proverbial ’spanner ’ for things to move … perhaps?
Speak about what makes you angry
What is really annoying, is not so much that the work is not done but that it might never be. The question is really about priorities, not the lack of time.       
Don't get involved
If a colleague continues to not do what is expected it could be that there are no real consequences if they continue like this. In the end, even if we get cross we still allow them to continue. For it to change, something new has to be introduced into the equation (a question or an unusual action) to get both of us out of the communication rut.       
Ask for a commitment
We've understood that the usual 'yes' is not a real 'yes'! It's just a way of avoiding 'no'. So once the colleague has been surprised by the change in tone we can then bring them to a commitment. We bank on the freeze effect: once they've promised the colleague can't go back on it.       
Each question has only one correct response, but be careful: among the possible responses there is one that is "almost correct" and might make the choice harder!
1 / 3   It might take longer...
You present a request to a co-worker, who responds: "Your request is complicated, I'll have to look into our process... With the current workload, it's going to take me a little time. I don't know... 7 days..." What do you say?
You understand his difficulty: "In 7 days is OK.
There's no guarantee, because no real commitment from your co-worker.
The processing time seems to be a concern for him. You agree to move back the delivery date and will make the client wait.
It's not certain that the deadline will be met even after moving back the date.
You say: "My request creates difficulties and it's not a priority for you. What do you need in order to be sure that you can deliver it to me in 7 days? [...]"
Yes, you have understood that you're not out of the woods yet, and ask your co-worker to take a position.
But I need it before then, it's really urgent, the client is waiting.
That's legitimate! But it won't make things move forward faster, because the obstacles haven't been removed.
2 / 3   Yes, yes!
Every month, Anaïs updates her reporting 1 or 2 days late. You mention it to her, she responds "yes yes" but nothing changes. What do you say to her today?
I really need to have the reporting on time. It's the same thing every month – what makes it so complicated for you?
An interesting approach, but you have surely already had this type of discussion: she doesn't have the time!
The problem for me is not just the reporting any more but the fact that you say yes without doing it.
Yes, this is a good summary of the problem. You'll allow Anaïs to respond.
It's really a big deal for me that you don't respect the deadline because this document is critical for the Steering Committee.
A useful reminder. But you would have a greater chance of success by first asking her what purpose she thinks the reporting serves.
What can you do to finally be on time?
Premature. Anaïs first needs to recognize the problem.
3 / 3   OK to be confirmed
Jean-François says "OK" to a new task on a given timeline. He does however have a tendency to forget to do certain things. What do you say?
I hope you won't forget the deadline this time!
This is already implied. Better to formulate a question or a clear demand.
The deadline is soon. I propose that we check in together in 3 days.
An interesting idea, but a question would be more effective to help him plan ahead (cf. response 4)
You do forget certain tasks. What will you do not to forget this one?
Jean-François is likely to tell you what you want to hear without necessarily following through.
This is a new task, on a short timeline. What checkpoints do you plan on?
Yes, you help Jean-François to plan ahead. You may, if necessary, involve yourself on certain checkpoints.
Your score is
You finished!
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