Part Four: Visitory and Deligation of Authority
Part four in our series on time management deals with two important issues, visitors and delegation of authority. These are two problems that young managers have a tough time with, although they are easily solved once you have organized. First, on the topic of visitors:
1. You must control your territory. Your office must be your turf and you must establish some rules. One of the most important tools you can use is the “door”. I have always believed in an open door policy, but that also includes a “closed door” policy!!! I had one simple rule, ” when the door was closed “DO NOT DISTURB”. When it was open, ANYONE was free to walk in. It’s that simple. When I am working on a project, I simply close the door. When I have time I open it.
2. If people use your office as a lounge, REMOVE THE CHAIRS. If their is no place to sit and lounge people won’t do it.
3. If an unwanted visitor enters your office and you can’t get them out, simply Stand UP and LEAVE. I used this very effectively when I was extremely busy and got an unwanted guest. You won’t have to do this very often before they figure it out.
4. Hold regular “Key Personnel Meetings”. By doing this you avoid those many interruptions that come from just bringing everyone up to speed on the latest developments.
5. Brief your staff in very short EIGHT minute meetings. The purpose is to answer the one question that will be asked 100 times a day, “WHAT’S GOING ON?”
On the subject of delegation:
1. Remember, delegation is good management. Often young managers fear delegation and always want to “do it themselves”. What you will quickly discover is that this is impossible. When faced with a task, the good manager always asks, “Why Me?” and then selects the best person for the job. Once that person is assigned the task, always communicate expectations clearly, set goals, set deadlines (written) and walk away. And the good manager always gives credit when the job is done correctly and well.
2. Watch out for “Reverse” Delegation. Managers are victims of this problem more than any other, unless you are conscious of what and why it happens. When an employee brings a task to you because they “just don’t know how to do it” and you perform the task, you’ve just been suckered into reverse delegation. When this happens, show them how to do it, answer their questions, and tell them, “You’ll never learn unless you do it!”
3. Remember DBMP (don’t bring me problems), BMS (bring me solutions). Always ask for their solutions to the problem. Then assign them to follow up and solve the problem themselves.
4. One of the hardest things for young managers to realize is NO ONE IS INDISPENSABLE, not even YOU!