Challenging Your Team
Karthik is working with the current company for the last 12 years. By virtue of his hard work and initiative, the company has done good progress in the last few years. In reward of this Karthik was also progressing in his career and now he is in a leadership position within the organization. Karthik is a master of his subject and a detail-oriented person. Once he takes work in hand he gets it done by putting in all his efforts and resources at his disposal. The biggest challenge before Karthik is his own time management. He always wants to remain in the driving seat. Because of this attitude, too many people depend upon him and waiting for his time. He has his team of good people but they depend upon Karthik for every small and big decision. Recently Karthik started crashing because of the time required to make all decisions. The team is very happy with Karthik. They appreciate Karthik’s work style, knowledge, attitude, but Karthik wants to delegate some work to his team members and he is not happy with the current attitude of team members.
Many of you who are reading posts may be Karthik of your office or personal life.
The Root of the Problem
The problem with the team members is they do not have confidence. A hidden fear like what if we do not deliver as per the expectation is at the root. Attitudes as mentioned below gravitate the situation further.
- It is not my job responsibility
- I do not have desired skills, allow them to push away responsibilities.
- An attitude like I have never done it in my life, so I am not sure.
- Nobody told me to it, so why should I put my leg in that work.
- This is very small work I am not made for these kinds of small things
- I am not going to do it, what is in it for me even if I do it successfully,
- Not thinking much about the consequence of postponing or canceling work.
- Shallow thinking. Just looking at work from their job responsibility perspective and ignoring how their contribution can help the organization and project.
Karthik also does not trust fully on team therefore he does not pass the authority of making decision and every time for small and big thing they come to Karthik.
Solution of the Problem
The solution to the problem lies in the trust of team members in Kartik that he will support us no matter what is result. At the same time trust by the manager on the team, that team members will acquire the desired skill, will take initiative, and will try to complete the work with their heart and soul. Life in the office could have been much better if people were taking initiatives and were supported by Karthik in the situation of any failure. The team could have felt that we are an integral part of the organization and the project and too much dependency on one person leads to failing our organization and project, if not today then very soon. But how to start and when to start trusting building?
Challenging your Team
Challenging does not mean that you give some mount Everest climbing kind of target and people even avoid to start the work. The challenge starts by trust people and saying I know you can do it, I am here to support you for all your work, don’t worry, get it done with minimum support and intervention from my side, use your all resource and network to complete the work. Here are x resources and t time, go and independently complete this with your best capability and efficiency. Finally, keep track of these kinds of first time delegated tasks and their success rate on some dashboard.
Now, Karthik understood this concept of “challenging your team” and started implementing it. Karthik started prioritizing work using urgency and importance grid and then delegate those tasks which are important but less urgent. This way he gets bandwidth to correct the work if something goes unexpected in less urgent work. Sometimes Karthik delegates a less important but more urgent work. So, even if something goes wrong in less important work not much is at stake. To test the ability of people Kartik is assigning less important less urgent work and then see what happens. Based on the results and attitude of people he coaches them and sends them on training so that tomorrow important work can be assigned to them. In this way after sometimes any good team will start pulling work from the backlog of the manager. This gives the opportunity to team members to grow and learn something new and to the manager for taking a bigger more meaningful assignment in his hands.
I have seen many a time people are in Kartik like situation but they do not want the solution. Why? Job security! They think more dependency upon us more value we have within the organization. But one day when they are fired or the project is lost or they leave the organization nothing much changes. Smart organizations are like water depending upon problem or hurdle they change the flow. Overall as a manager, we need to understand more delegation we do, more time we have for next level of the work and creative work.
If you struggling at your workplace with good people then this is your time to trust people and learn the art of work prioritization and work delegation. This will give your breathing space to do some other important work and focus on your health and family life.