Seven Ways to be Overworked and Under-Appreciated
I’ve been teaching managers to coach employees for about four years. One thing is obvious. Overworked managers pressure themselves in self-defeating ways.
Successful managers make others matter more.
Seven ways to be overworked and under-appreciated:
- Give the first answer, when people come to you for solutions. The answer you give, you own.
- Feel responsible to solve other people’s problems for them. Compassion is poison when it does what others should do.
- Do other people’s jobs for them.
- Be afraid to press for action.
- Don’t hold people accountable to their commitments.
- Let people do things they aren’t good at.
- Get sucked into drama.
Bonus: If you’d like to be overworked and under-appreciated, ignore the elephant in the room. Working around elephants creates more work. In the end, it’s your fault you didn’t deal with it.
Powerful questions that make others matter more:
Forget about perfect questions. Simple questions do the job.
5 questions to elevate engagement:
Others matter more when they’re engaged.
- What’s on your mind?
- What do you think?
- What are you learning?
- What should I know?
- What am I missing?
You’re overworked when you don’t engage others by asking questions.
5 questions to create options:
Others matter more when they create options.
- And what else? (The A.W.E. question.)
- Tell me more. (So that’s not really a question.)
- Who might know?
- If you did know? (Use this when people say, “I don’t know.”)
One reason you’re overworked is you talk too much and listen too little.
5 questions to help others move forward:
Others matter more when they move forward.
- What’s next?
- Now what?
- What’s the next step today?
- What matters now?
Bonus: I hear what you can’t do. What can you do?
“Telling” makes work for you. Asking makes others matter more.
How might managers find greater success by making others matter more?
How do you elevate engagement, create options with others, and help others move forward?
“What’s the ‘Big Picture’ here?”
People’s actions need to be tied to the mission (or vision or whatever your lexicon is) in order to be meaningful. If you don’t ask that continually push that question, all you’re doing is twiddling a few knobs, readjusting a few levers and polishing the bezel.
Or worse, you’re simply engaged in mood maintenance – making people feel good that they’re moving once again, and perhaps checking a few items off a to do list.
Thanks Bud. Great question. It’s so easy to get lost in the weeds.
Mood maintenance is draining. 🙂
I often simply say “If you’re convinced it’s good for the business then you have my support you don’t need to ask permission. We always need to be on the look out to save people from themselves but the learning is in doing and allowing them to do what they believe…
Agree with you, Croadie. Would add that when teams come from a place of purpose and know they are trusted, they learn faster and have the potential to come up with better creative solutions.
I can’t begin to tell you the time I lost years ago to these 7 Ways before I finally got tired of wearing the red cape. Great reminder and I like the questions in 5 Ways to Move Forward. To gain focus I also like to ask “What’s true now?” Thank you!