Tuesday, May 03, 2011

3D Juggling 524: That wasn't trivial!

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Lynn writes: “Arriving back home I needed to move my car.  Having teenage kids in the house and friends visiting, the driveway was pretty full. I found that although there was clear space around the car and apparently plenty behind it, I was stuck. Forward and back I went until my arms hurt and still I was in the same space!  In desperation I asked my husband to have a go… and to my perverse delight he too went backwards and forwards for a long time.  Finally free he commented:  “That wasn’t trivial!”

At home or at work, how often do we start a task that looks simple, launch in and then find we are going nowhere or going round in circles?  As managers or leaders we can frequently delegate work to others seeing what we are handing on as simple or trivial, without realising that it is not.  Colleagues or volunteers may experience it as a task that is scary or even find that they don’t have the manoeuvring skills to make it happen in the way you do as they have a different field of influence.

The car may have been moved more easily if I’d asked for help as soon as it was clear that the manoeuvre wasn’t trivial. I might have been able to do it myself with some moral support and ideas from some of the other drivers in the house, to have been shown what to do and then gone on an advanced reversing course, or have asked to sit in the passenger seat while Bruce talked me through what he was doing.

Next time you delegate something trivial, what will you do differently? Think about it...
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