Halloween is Coming. Don’t be Afraid of your Team!

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By Melissa Davies, Wise Ways Consulting

It’s October, the start of the spooky season. It’s all in good fun, of course – unless you are a manager afraid of your team and scared to delegate. Then work is an endless nightmare of missed deadlines, stress, and headaches.

October is also the month when projects race to the finish line before the year’s end. It’s also the month when many companies perform annual reviews. If you are fortunate enough to have a team, this is the month to save the scares for the trick-or-treaters, not your employees.

Are you a manager afraid of your team?

  • Do you find it hard to delegate tasks?
  • Do you believe or feel no one on your team has the skills to accomplish certain projects?
  • Do you feel like you don’t have time to teach new skills?
  • Do you have people on your team you find it hard to like or respect?

A yes to any of those questions or similar ones means you have some work to do. Being a manager and a leader means learning to trust people who work for you while working with them to make them better at their jobs.

If you do all the work on every project because you’re afraid that no one can be trusted or has the skills, here are some management tactics to help you build effective, productive, and happier teams.

Play on each person’s strength.

I understand you may have inherited a few people from a team or a reorg whom you don’t like or whom you feel are not at the right skill level. That’s life. Move on from those negative thoughts and help each person to define their individual strengths. Considering putting two or three people together on a project where each person can fill in for the other.

Pre-empt mistakes.

It can be hard to let go when you are worried projects will fall to pieces. Plan for mistakes with time on the work schedule. Always include instructions, even when you think they are not needed. Establish deadlines and set expectations for outcomes.

Become a teacher.

I admit, sometimes it can take longer to teach someone to do something new to them than doing it yourself. Yet, the time you take to teach a new skill will be rewarded in the time you save in the future. When you invest in your team with training and mentoring, you let them know you value their skills. And, if you’re the teacher, the work will be done the way you want.

Embrace your team and their potential. There’s nothing to be scared of this month – or any month.


Melissa Davies is an executive leadership coach and facilitator as well as the author of How Not to Act Like a BLEEP at Work.  She resides in Prince William County and runs Wise Ways Consulting, which specializes in leadership, management and team development, executive coaching, group facilitation and high-engagement training.  She can be reached at info@wisewaysconsulting.com or through www.wisewaysconsulting.com


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