Sometimes when You’ve delegated work, you think that you and your team were on the same page about what to do, but when the work comes back to you, it’s completely different from what you thought you both agreed on. Don't you hate when this happen?
A lot of times, when Club Owners or Directors are frustrated over what feels like a baffling lack of alignment, it’s because they assumed that their team understood what they wanted – but didn’t actually make it clear or check to confirm that understanding. In other words, they counted on the employee to read their mind.
It’s easy to make this mistake. Especially when you’ve worked with people for a while and assume that you speak the same language; it can be natural to assume that you’re on the same page and you don’t need to be specific. But assuming that you don’t in fact employ a team of mind readers, it’s always better to take the time to get aligned. To do that, follow these steps when you’re delegating work:
1. Don't be afraid to delegate bigger responsibilities. For example, Boss will say something like, “I need you to help me with the girls training sessions,” when what they really mean is, “You’re in charge of managing Dancers”. So be sure that you’re really thinking through what you’ll consider a successful outcome of your instructions, and convey that with the Team otherwise you will end up frustrated that the employee didn’t take more ownership and proactively anticipate additional ways to achieve that broader goal.
2. Cover the smaller picture: the details you’ll care about. Basically this is the main idea of this article, BE SPECIFIC. Try to extract and articulate everything that’s in your head about how you’d like the project to go. An easy way to get at this is to run through how things might go wrong, and then address those right up-front. For example, you might include things like:
4. Ask the Employee to repeat back to you their understanding of these details. The best way to be sure your employee understands the task the way you do is to simply ask. For example, you could say, “To make sure we’re on the same page, can you tell me what you’re taking away from this?” If the work is more complicated, you might ask the person to send you a quick email summarizing what they understood. Almost always when you do this, you’ll find one or two details where you weren’t on the same page and will have a chance to clarify.
5. Check in as the work unfolds. By continuing to engage during the course of the work, you’ll be able to get a feel for how it’s unfolding and can ensure that things are going according to plan or course-correct as needed. You don’t want to hover, but you should check in on the work during your one-on-one’s and in many cases can ask to see interim pieces of the work. If you do this, you’re far less likely to be surprised at the end of the assignment – and your staff person is far less likely to feel frustrated that they put time into something that wasn’t quite right.
What other tips you can share with us, to effectively communicate with your team?