influence

Delegation Bloopers

You're bought in to scaling yourself, and you know you need to be a better delegator. To get the most out of delegating, remember that you are delegating not simply to move tasks but also to build the capability of your team members.

Here are some common pitfalls to avoid:

Telling more than asking: asking questions lets others think through situations themselves rather than falling into the trap of carrying out your direction.

Failure to clarify the deliverable: you may know exactly what you want. Perhaps you'll "know it when you see it." Either way, make sure you set people up for success by agreeing on the end state.

Fear of being a micro-manager: leaders are often squeamish about telling someone what to do. If you want a good outcome you need to agree on check-points so you can ask good questions, offer suggestions and provide support along the way.

Failure to debrief: debriefing after a project is completed is the single best way to ensure learning. Missing this step guarantees that you and your team member won't get the most out of delegating.

Do not fall into delegation traps! I would love to hear from you about delegation tips you have, or bloopers that you have seen!


Please Stop Using The Feedback Sandwich

Please Stop Using The Feedback Sandwich

Among my pet peeves from the conventional wisdom playbook about management, the “feedback sandwich” is at the top of the list.

You know what the feedback sandwich is. It is a way of giving feedback that goes like this: say something nice; then say the critical feedback – what you actually want to say; then say something nice again.

It's not about being nice!

It's not about being nice!

One of the biggest misconceptions about how leaders talk to people is that they are supposed to be "nice." It's not about being nice! It's about using the right tools to come across clearly and not shut people down - for some that can be harder than it sounds! Use these tools: 1) Manage your tone 2) Frame it so they can hear you 3) Be specific.

Performance appraisals that aren't terrible

Performance appraisals that aren't terrible

It's that time of year! Performance appraisal season. There is plenty of confusion and dread about this process. How do you make it most useful? The best way to approach it: 1) Measure outcomes; 2) measure leadership behaviors; 3) get feedback from others. 

Managing yourself in tough situations

Managing yourself in tough situations

It happens to all of us. We screw up something and then have to fix it. Often "fixing it" means having a tough conversation. Many people don't like to do that, and they certainly don't like anticipating it. Here are three tools for you to help set yourself up for success: 1) Learning lab; 2) Label; 3) Forgive yourself. 

Scaling your leadership

Scaling your leadership

Stepping into a much larger role is exciting and nerve-wracking. It requires you to expand yourself - to get as big as the new job. You need to scale your leadership. That may sound good, but what does that really mean? Three things to do: Three tools for you: 1) Set the big picture; 2) Scale your communication; 3) Reshape your network. 

Managing your career transition

Managing your career transition

You've put your time into your functional area, you've achieved some success, and then sometimes it hits you: you want something broader, something more, something different. It's time to transition your career! Even though you might feel daunted, there are ways to do that, even when you are advanced in your career. Three tools for you: 1) Build your skills; 2) Translate your experience; 3) Engage your network. 

Getting buy-in for your ideas

Getting buy-in for your ideas

When you want to do something innovative, you have to get buy-in from the people around you. It doesn't just happen! Three tools for you: 1) Build alliances in advance; 2) Start small; 3) Appeal to their interests. 

Surviving organizational changes

Surviving organizational changes

Reorgs happen. So do mergers, integrations, and re-assignments. Whenever you get a new set of stakeholders you have to fine-tune your influence strategy, even if you are the boss. Three tools for you: 1) Draw a map; 2) Develop a strategy; 3) Teach your people

Earning the right to drive change

Earning the right to drive change

Being smart and great at your job is only part of the equation for success - and not the biggest part. You also need to have credibility and the support of those around you. Getting that support - especially if, sadly, you have alienated people already - takes effort. Three tactics to help: 1) Get sponsors; 2) Create positive buzz; 3) Challenge productively.