Just getting it done is getting me down

Dec 30, 11

I am demanding.

I want work to be done perfectly every time. I expect everyone to have the same attention to detail and follow through as me. Guess what? It’s frustrating and the frustration doesn’t yield better results. Even worse, the frustration is mine alone and doesn’t help anyone (specifically the person I’m frustrated with) improve.

Time to step back and look at the problem. As Chris Daily said, people need to “let go of the perception that they are in charge. In reality, you were never in charge, but you told everyone you were.” This is incredibly important because we were raised in a world where bosses told you what to do. It’s not unusual for people to come to me and ask questions like “How should I do this?” or “What exactly do you want?”. These questions are the root of why I’m often disappointed with the final product. If I decide the how, what stake does the person doing the task have? He won’t have any ownership and by using the prescribed solution can easily implement without much thought. But I want him to think! I want him to come up with different solutions, talk to his peers, make decisions that the team can agree on, and own the solution.

Instead of answering with how, I am trying to enable the team to decide by itself. I am stopping myself before answering, counting to ten, collecting my thoughts, and framing my response as an agile coach. I hope to find myself answering how with a suggestion to sit and talk the problem through with the business owner and team. I hope to find myself less frustrated and more productive.