You supervise a team that usually works together very well. You are a respectful, friendly and accessible boss. You know that the best leaders make decisions, explain those decisions clearly, communicate expectations, and take responsibility for the implementation and effectiveness.
You strive to make this your default practice.
But when the team is operating under tight deadlines or pressure, everything changes. As the one accountable, you take the lead and become more directive. But then you get push back from your team. Some folks are less responsive, even resistant. You keep telling them what is needed, but the rolling eyes and incomplete assignments are not the results you want.
Let’s break down the different ways supervisors can develop and express decisions.
- Commanding (I decide, I tell you my decision);
- Consulting (I ask for your input, then I decide and tell you);
- Collaborating or Negotiating (We decide together); and
- Delegating (I’m telling you the result I need, you decide the rest).
First, you need to be clear in your own mind about which approach to use for the decision AND SHARE THAT. This is a part of managing expectations. If you are normally in the collaborating or delegating zone, but need to move to the consulting or commanding approach, tell your team and explain why.