Manager's Tips and Tools

by Manager Development Services

Give Them the Power


Most people shy away from responsibility and often need help in assuming responsibility.  As manager, this is where I come in.  If I make it “their decision” – “their choice” then it becomes “their responsibility” and they are forced to live with the outcome.  They must decide themselves what they will do and how they will proceed.  When they do this, they begin to evaluate options and weigh effects.  In effect, I give them the power.

Most people already know what they should do in any given situation.  But most people either don’t trust their own decision-making and are looking for validation or they are looking for someone else to “share the blame” if their plan fails.  If I, as manager, validate their decision then it becomes no longer “their” decision, but “our” decision.  If their decision turns out to be a success, then it’s not “their” success it’s “our” success.  If their decision isn’t a success, it’s now not “their” decision – but my fault.

When an employee requests my help in making a decision, that is exactly what I do – help him or her make the decision.  I must be careful not to make it for them.  I:

1)  ask them what they think,

2)  ask them what options they have considered,

3)  suggest other possible options for them to consider,

4)  ask if they have weighed the possible outcomes of each option,

5)  ask them what effect each option would have on them and on the department,

6)  and then I ask them what they choose to do.

By me taking the time to do this, my employee learns to make decisions on their own and have confidence in their decision making ability.  They learn to solve their own problems, celebrate their own triumphs, and learn from their own mistakes (failure isn’t failure if you learn a lesson from it).

This results in an employee who is confidant, self-motivated, and who does not come running to me for every little thing.

– excerpt from “The Manager as Orchestra Leader”

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March 14, 2011 - Posted by | Counseling Techniques, Employee Coaching, Leadership Skills, Manager Development Tools, Mentoring | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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