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  • Deadly Sins Of Giving Assignments

    Most managers struggle to find the right balance between being too tough or too easy — and when they overcompensate either way it can cause unintentional complexity.

    Upstart: Management

    One organizational area that tends to tie a company in knots is the way leaders give assignments. Most managers struggle to find the right balance between being too tough or too easy — and when they overcompensate either way it can cause unintentional complexity.

    A number of years ago my colleague Robert Schaffer identified the “seven deadly sins” of giving assignments, all motivated by the desire to avoid uncomfortable confrontations. As you read the descriptions, ask yourself if you recognize any of them in your own dealings with subordinates or interactions with your boss:

    1. Backing away from tough expectations: The goal becomes a hard-to-reach wish that people can choose to ignore.
    2. Engaging in charades: The goal is just an exercise. Setting an objective conveys the appearance of progress, but there’s no hope of achieving it.
    3. Accepting seesaw trades: When your people take on one goal, they are relieved of another one.
    4. Setting vague or distant goals: The time frame is not explicitly defined or set too far into the future.
    5. Not establishing consequences: This way, it’s impossible to differentiate between those who successfully achieve goals and those who do not.
    6. Setting too many goals: An overabundance of objectives allows subordinates to pick and choose the goals that they either want to do or find easiest to do — but not necessarily the ones that are most important.

    Read More:

    http://blogs.hbr.org/ashkenas/2011/04/deadly-sins-of-giving-assignments.html

    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Management

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