Leaders, (including bosses, managers, coaches, presidents, pastors, parents, mentors, etc.), when you give an assignment to those under your supervision, please keep these 3 things in mind:
- you want to explain clearly the task that you want to see accomplished (where needed: explaining it, demonstrating how to do it, watching your report do it (with your feedback), and then letting them do it on their own (without you looking over their shoulder) with accountability from you at some later date
- you want to provide an expectation for the task being done with excellence
- and this last point (which so often gets overlooked), you want to explain to your report those activities that led up to this task being requested of them, as well as an explanation of what will take place after this task gets performed. Your job as a leader is not only to make sure that work under your supervision gets done well (and on time), but you also want to strive to develop your people. By helping those under your supervision understand more of the complete process, you enhance their perspective and critical thinking. After all, isn’t that in part what leaders do–they see the big picture, and seeing it, they make adjustments to help them keep on track to fulfill their goals.
(as a side note to all these steps, as the leader, you never want to be seen as barking out commands, but rather, its vital that you pursue having a dialogue kind of relationship with your direct report. As you do, it will help you to understand that they understand everything you are asking of them.
When was the last time you asked someone who is under your authority to do a task? (it could be as big as heading up a project, or as small as doing a soccer drill)
When you gave that last assignment, or think about the last several assignments, do you go through all of these steps?
In your relentless pursuit of excellence, what step is your weakest and that you need to work on the most?