Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

Mastering the Art of Delegation

Do you micro-manage your staff? Are you comfortable letting them make their own decisions or must you be involved in every detail?

If delegation is a problem for you, then you may not be getting the best results from your team. Micro-managing makes employees feel stifled, passive, and unwilling to take risks. The challenge for managers is to know when to be involved and when to let go and rely on people to do the job.

There is an important balance between helping out and giving employees the latitude to do a job on their own. There will be times when it’s necessary to get involved in order to keep things on track. In matters of day-to-day work, however, it’s best to keep your distance and give people the authority to make decisions on their own.

One executive who was in charge of thousands of people shared his experience in The Wall Street Journal. At first, he said, he was tempted to jump in and do a subordinate’s work in order to meet sales goals.

Restraining himself, he held meetings where he would ask people many questions about why sales were down. They got the idea that they better be on their toes and know everything about their business.

Later, he decided on a management style that was more consensual. He realized that people who reported to him were smart and more knowledgeable in their individual areas than he was. At that point, it was more important to listen and hear various views on what should be done, how to do it, and then reach a decision.

Running a department with an iron fist has generally been shown not to work and can significantly lower productivity. Today, we know it’s vital to gain knowledge from people and put that knowledge to good use.

Make Your Point Clearly

People tend to use careless language when they speak because they assume other people know what they mean. Unfortunately, they often leave others uncertain or confused about what they want.

At the New York Center for Critical Thinking, they recommend that you pay close attention to the way you express yourself. Think before you speak, and make sure to present your thoughts logically. It helps to use examples.

When listening, listen not only for the facts but for the feelings behind them. If you don’t fully understand what you’re being told, ask what the person means by that or why it was said. Explore the conversation, and you’ll learn more.