When I was a manager there were several days where I became frustrated with getting my team to do what needed to be done.
I like to think that it wasn’t due to a lack of communication or training but it very well could have been.
I held regular training sessions in both group and individual settings. I would give instructions and ask the person who I was instructing to repeat them back to me thinking this would help them understand my instructions and show me that they had a good grasp of the task at hand.
I would try to make sure I was communicating my expectations and give a detailed time frame steering clear of subjective terms like, soon or now or whenever you have some time. I would give a specific date and or time to have the work completed.
I would give my instructions in writing and then review them verbally.
Sometimes I would get the results that I wanted and sometimes I wouldn’t.
Sometimes most of the group would get it right but there always seemed to be one or two who just plain missed the boat.
I was aware of the fact that how I communicated this information was a major factor in the success or failure of the individual to perform the task.
And even though I gave detailed instructions I also tried to give the person lead way to achieve the expected results using methods that best suited the individual, determined by the individual.
I wasn’t so much concerned about how they got there but just that the got there.
At times the frustration would grow within me.
What was I doing wrong? What more could I do or have done?
Then one day I thought about Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt.
You have a man who gave his people the word of God. He led them out of slavery. He showed them miracles and guess what, they didn’t listen to him either.
I sure ain’t Moses.
So if a man like Moses who performed all kinds of miracles right before his tribe’s eyes couldn’t get one hundred percent cooperation from his people, why did I expect those kind of results for myself?
After that revelation my expectations were changed, not lowered but changed.
I didn’t expect every individual to succeed or be the best at everything I assigned. I planned for their misunderstandings and short comings.
My goal was to get my tribe out of the wilderness without too much corruption.
To this day I still feel some frustration when I’m trying to get cooperation but I’ve stopped trying to beat Moses.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.