|Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips" by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org!
How do you delegate? The Situation: A reorganization has placed two departments under you, and your workload has soared. You are putting in incredibly long hours -- and still not getting everything done. At this rate, you will end up in Intensive Care. You must unload some of your tasks to subordinates. Yet, there are no extra titles or money to pass out along with the extra duties. How can you best hand off some of your burden without making your people feel you are dumping this on them?
Indirect and Open
Make a personal appeal to a Relater's dedication. "You and I have been working here, in various capacities, for -- what? -- 20-some years. You know that I have come to count on you in times of crisis. And that is exactly what we have here. I need you to help me out on this. Although there is no immediate payoff in money or position, I will try to make it up to you as time goes by. As I say, you and I have been around the track more than a few times, and you know I'm true to my word when I make a promise like that." When you explain their additional tasks, go over exactly what needs to be done and how you are sure a routine can quickly be established that will minimize the added burden. State the deadlines and explain why it is important to do the tasks in a specific way.
Direct and Open
Stress how taking on these new tasks can get a Socializer more attention and gratitude not only from you, but probably from others as well. "There's no money or fancy nameplate that goes with this right now. Nevertheless, I think it is safe to say that you will be helping yourself in the eyes of others. Around here, people who pitch in and go that extra mile tend to be recognized. Plus, you're so bright and fun to be around and have such good social skills that getting you involved in more departmental areas won't ruffle as many feathers as if I gave the same assignment to some others I can think of." However, make sure you get clear agreement on what the new tasks are and how they are to be done. Establish checkpoints so that there are not long periods between progress reports to you.
Indirect and Guarded
Explain the logic of why you need to split your workload. Offer details about how much your work has grown because of the reorganization. Give Thinkers figures showing how it's more work than is humanly possible to complete. "I know you're already working long hours yourself, and believe me, I wouldn't ask you to do this if I had any other alternative. However, you are so organized and such a good planner, I concluded that you could figure out a way to accomplish these additional tasks with less trouble than some others in the office. And, most important, I know these jobs will be done right!" Take the time to answer all their questions about structure and the kind of guidance they can expect. The more they understand the details and the more predictable the tasks are, the more likely the Thinker will see the extra work as do-able, perhaps even a fun challenge. Be sure to establish deadlines.
Direct and Guarded
Give Directors the bottom line -- and get the heck out of the way! "Look, here's the situation: the re-organization has quadrupled my workload. I cannot do it all; nobody could. However, it all has to be done if our department is going to continue to be a standout in this company. It's a hell of a thing for me to ask. However, you are a can-do person, somebody who always gets results and on whom I have always been able to count on when the chips are down. I really need you to come through for me on this one." Emphasize how the added responsibilities will increase their power with others, if that is the case. Give them parameters, guidelines, and deadlines, but then let them figure out how to best accomplish the added chores. Then, do not look over their shoulders; let them come back to you with progress reports.
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