Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 12th 2015 Contents BG12 COMMENTARY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt MARCH 2015 • WEEK TWO
Delegate your work
without fear of resentment
Despite the benefits, many managers feel
uneasy about delegating work to their teams.
One main concern is that your staff will
resent the additional work. If you want to
build a foundation for effective delegating,
you can t just dump grunt work on people;
you have to manage their expectations with
Let them know that they ll get opportu-
nities to do new and interesting work.
Explain how new projects will expand their
capabilities, and that you ll support them
as they make their own decisions.
When you do have dull administrative
work or a beastly project, such as organising
a cluttered image library, be upfront about
it: acknowledge that it may be beneath your
employee s abilities, but it has to be done.
Give the reasons why. Providing a larger
context will lessen the sense of drudgery
and motivate your employee to complete
the work without resentment.
(Adapted from "Delegating Work" from
the 20-Minute Manager series.)
Help people raise difficult
issues in your next meeting
You won t accomplish much in your
meeting if there s an elephant in the room.
The team might just stare at their notebooks
and refuse to make eye contact, or people
will start to speak and then censor them-
selves. For example, firing a bad vendor
might solve your problem, but if it would
create more work or hurt someone s feelings,
people might not bring it up. You have to
raise the issue yourself to get the group
unstuck. Then ask people to explain in detail
the nature of the problem, issue or oppor-
Find out how long it has existed, who is
involved and what the consequences are.
Thank people who bring up controversial
or different viewpoints.
And let everyone know how important it is to raise
all options, concerns and issues, even if they are dif-
ficult. Once people know you won t kill the messenger,
they ll feel safer tackling thorny subjects.
(Adapted from "Running Meetings" from the 20-
Minute Manager series.)
Win back your boss's trust by
Can you truly regain your boss s trust once you ve
In most cases, the answer is yes. Trust is often
broken if your integrity has been called into question.
There are two ways to rebuild trust and show integrity.
The first takes time: repeatedly demonstrate an
ability to work hard and delay selfish gratification.
For example, work through lunch or take on onerous
or tedious tasks that need to get done, but no one
else wants to do.
The second is quicker: show a willingness to sac-
rifice to benefit others when the stakes are high. This
could include putting off a planned vacation to meet
a major need or goal of your boss s. You have to be
willing to do what others might not, so you won t
be seen as prioritising your own needs over those of
(Adapted from "2 Ways to Regain Your Boss s Trust"
by David DeSteno.)
Weave behavioural economics
into your wellness programme
Company wellness programmes often rely on edu-
cation to encourage people to lose weight, stop smok-
ing or manage health conditions. But educating people
about what they already know but don t do can only
go so far. Instead, try behavioural economics approach-
es, which can help us overcome the psychological
barriers that undercut our goals. For example:
• Make incentives easier to see and more influential.
Use separate checks or gift cards to deliver rewards
(eg, cash for completing a health assessment) that
would normally be buried in a pay stub.
• Reward group achievements. Instead of encour-
aging people to walk more, create teams whose success
depends on each member walking a minimum amount
(say, 7,000 steps a day).
• Turn repetitive activities, like taking medication,
into a game: People can participate only if they took
their medication the previous day. Such an approach
effectively pairs the routine with an engaging and
emotionally positive experience.
(Adapted from "Use Behavioral Economics to Achieve
Wellness Goals" by David A Asch, MD, and Kevin G
Task-manage with help
from your phone
We all forget to do things every now and then. But
setting reminders on your phone can help you keep
track of smaller tasks, so you can finally tame your
to-do list. Unlike a task list, your phone can feed
reminders to you one at a time. Choose an application
that runs on your work computer and phone and
any personal devices.
The whole point of a reminder, as opposed to a
task list, is that it comes back to haunt you. So make
sure that whenever you enter a reminder, you include
a specific time when you want to be reminded. Since
you ll likely have reminders popping up throughout
the day and evening, feel free to snooze them.
The point is not to get each thing done at a specific
moment (for that, you d use a calendar) but to keep
them from falling off your radar. Just make sure you
don t actually dismiss something that hasn t been
And remember to turn on the "do not disturb"
setting during presentations and conference calls.
(Adapted from "Conquer Your To-Do List With
Your Phone" by Alexandra Samuel.)
@2015 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp.
Distributed by the New York Times Syndicate
TIPS & TALKING POINTS
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