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Pro Code #47: Leave the Juggling Act to the Circus

Pro Code #47: Leave the Juggling Act to the Circus

Stepping into a management role can be an exciting, but overwhelming opportunity. No one expects you to be a magic bullet. But they do expect you to use your team wisely. If your days aren’t getting any shorter, take a cue from Pro Code #47, “You are not a circus clown, so don’t put on a juggling act. Recognize your limitations and the strengths of your team. Then delegate tasks to create a more effective troupe.”

In order to create a positive future for your group, truly consider the tasks each team member is capable of tackling. Competency shouldn’t be your only concern. Does the employee have adequate authorization, access and resources to get the job done? If not, it doesn’t take a fortune teller to foresee that they’ll be calling you every fifteen minutes for help.

For delegation to be effective, you must doll out duties in a controlled fashion. This isn’t like one of those comically small clown cars that can inexplicably fit dozens of jesters into — give your team enough space between projects to breathe. Review current workloads and break complex projects down into manageable phases for your team.

Remember, your employees aren’t mind readers. Clearly communicate the objectives for each task and drop the gimmicks. Then, have each individual articulate their next steps verbally for a real commitment to follow through. Don’t forget to also check in regularly, give advice and make adjustments when necessary.

Finally, be careful not to abuse your management power. Keeping everyone on task as the ring master shouldn’t mean avoiding grunt work yourself or doing a disappearing act every Friday afternoon. Instead, sell out your grandstand with awe-inspiring feats of strength and agility from your department. Learn more about increasing your team’s exposure in Pro Code #98.

Contribution by Jill Jassmann-Sharlock.

Jill is an IMPACT Group Global Research and Projects Team Lead who focuses on the unique information needs of global transferees. She also serves as IMPACT Group’s Global myIMPACT Specialist, managing content for our global job search and career portal.

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