i work with a pretty smart guy, DW*. today i beckoned him to my cube, touting cookies as a bribe, so he could tell me how to deal with a particular situation. without getting into work-speak, i had put in a request for a department to complete a task, and the person assigned to that task didn’t necessarily complete it to the standards of which i’d hoped. now, i used to be a part of this department, so i have somewhat high expectations of what can be done. long and short: i was ticked.

but DW is a man of logic and humor. i really did ask him so that he really could tell me how to handle – if i wanted ONLY to complain, i probably would’ve IMed JM or KM, folks who aren’t tied to the department. but i want to make things better, so i asked The Man.

he gave me a wise bit of wisdom that i believe is going to transcend my need for qualifed ASE technicians in nashville, tennessee. as i asked him how to effectively communicate my frustrations, he said, “it’s not your job to tell us what to do, it’s your job to tell us what you want.” huh. how about that.

not only is it quite catchy, i think it’s also true. i think that’s where the frustration of micro-managing happens: when we’re given a task and not given the freedom to have creativity and ownership of its completion. even in marriage and other relationships i think it could be true. we must communicate what we want or need from our counterpart without necessarily telling them how to do it. this is something i find incredibly difficult. when i find a way of doing something, i like to think it’s the best possible way – and thus, all people should be doing it this way. but that is not always necessarily true. yes, i did just admit that. baby steps, you see.

so that was my learning curve of the day. how to communicate effectively what i want (X number of people at this status, please, with at least one certification and a background in Y) but give people the opportunity to do what they’re good at in an effort to meet those expectations.

*really, this guy DOES know everything.

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