Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I never assign work to anyone

Although I am very good at delegating work, I never assign a task to anyone.

Day to day, I prioritize my workload, and then ask myself…

“Okay, which tasks can be delegated and which am I uniquely qualified to tackle?”

This daily decision is the key to being a good manager.

If you are doing too much, you are saying to your team: I don’t trust you to do as good a job as I will do.

On the other hand, assigning work is a command and control vessel. To “assign work to someone” is to say that their current tasks are unimportant.

Instead, explain why you believe the team member is suited for the task, and then ask them to accept the task, weighing and prioritizing the task against their current workload.

By asking someone to commit to a task, you are building teamwork and proving that you trust that teammate’s skills and judgment.

When you say that you are assigning work, you are essentially saying what you parents told you as a child…

“Do it, because I said so. I am the boss.”

Whether you realize it or not, a simple word like “assign” will lower morale and hurt your team(s) and the culture of your organization.

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