Helping others reach their potentialFeb 01, 2023
We all want our people to hit the ground running no matter how new they are. This, however, will lead to missed expectations. All people need an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of new tasks. Note: task is the simplest way to describe an activity that a manager delegates to an employee. This, however, can be as simple as taking out the trash to something extremely complex like can you drive this undefined portfolio and make it your own.
In order to help any individual be successful at something new is through them guided delegation. Do not assume that your employee or delegate will know what you are talking about. It is critical that you trust, but also verify.
This can be done through asking precision questions around what outcomes you are looking for. Let’s walk through an example.
Manager: Could you put together a proposal for more resources for project x please?
Employee: Sure boss.
Manager: I would like to present this to our management chain. When will you be able to get me a draft?
Employee: How does tomorrow sound?
Manager: What will your draft look like?
Employee: A word document with some number representing why we need more resources.
Manager: That is close. Could you put together a power point presentation with numbers for justification? Be sure to also include the overall description as well of the project. If you have background information on project y because it relates, this would be a good addition to justify.
In this “mock” example, the employee would have thought they understood what was needed, but would have completely missed the managers expectation.
The manager could just as easily justify that the employee should have been asking these questions. In a situation where an employee has done this before, this would be a somewhat more reasonable perspective.
However, in this situation where the employee has never done this before, would they know what they don’t know?
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