Teflon part 2

Posted on: March 31st, 2013 by csaunders No Comments

Secondly consider the individual personalities and cultural issues at play.

Some organisations have entire ‘Teflon’ cultures, and some still have echoes of a time when ‘Teflon’ was the culture of-the-day – even though management might have mostly “stamped it out” in the present.

If your ‘Teflon’ pal has been around for a more than a few years, he or she may have survived simply by never taking a risk.

Are you asking them to be responsible for a risky action? If so assign them some friends to ‘share the blame’ if things go wrong, that way they won’t be the only one.

However you might have asked a person to do a task for which he or she is just not ‘cut-out’ to do.

If your ‘Teflon’ pal simply isn’t a confrontational person, don’t expect them to “bring someone into line”.

Don’t ask the ‘Ted Danson from Cheers’ type character (everyone’s friend) to do the ‘disciplining staff’ or ‘telling the cold hard truth’ type tasks, it just ain’t gonna happen.

Get the ‘bossy’ natural leader to do the task instead of the shy book-worm.

That way you’ll also buy yourself some breathing space, as you will give your ‘strong-headed’ budding leader somewhere else to exercise their natural gifts, instead of challenging you all of the time.

Personalities are very important, so ensure the detailed orientated analysts get assigned the detail tasks, and not to the ‘showman’ type sales people.

Next consider the job title and role, have you asked them to do something for which they don’t feel they have the mandate or authority to do?

Nothing is worse than being assigned a task you don’t have the ‘mana’ to carry out.

Many ‘stuck’ tasks have simply been assigned to the wrong person.

Don’t let job titles fool you, double check who actually has the authority to hire staff, fire contractors, ‘scold’ vendors or “issue mandates from on-high”.

Then consider the technical details of the task, is it possible you are asking someone to do something that could be considered “the wrong way to do it”?

Don’t assume you understand all the technical details and facts. More than one person has ‘dragged their feet’ on a task which has been assigned to them without due consideration.

Ask the technical experts for help.

They will appreciate the ‘vote of confidence’ and probably save you many wasted hours.

Besides more than one project has been held up simply because someone had too much ownership, not too little – “that’s my area” they seem to be saying and all they really wanted was to feel useful and have their own value recognised.

Officialy ask them for their help and they will usually say, “I was wondering when you were going to ask!” Don’t be too proud to stroke egos where necessary.

Lastly consider the implications of the task itself, is it really the “right thing to do”?

Have you just asked someone to do something against their moral convictions? Whether or not you agree, be sure to be sensative to another person’s values and principles.

Let your inner hero show through.

Ask yourself, “If I was sure every thing would turn out right, what would I do so that I will feel proud of this decision when I look back on my life 20 years from now?”.

Then go and do it.

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