update from the manager whose employee didn’t want to take on a new task

Remember the manager wondering how to get a reluctant employee to take minutes at a board meeting, when the employee was resisting taking it on? Here’s the update.

I want to thank you for your very helpful advice. After reading your response, and the responses of many helpful commenters, I tried a different approach. I began by telling her again why I thought she was the best person to help me with this task. Then I asked her to tell me what her reservations were. I listened. Then I explained what I would do to help her though it: giving her electronic copies of previous minutes to go by, giving her a detailed agenda ahead of time, providing her with a digital recorder, and assuring her that we would work together on editing the minutes afterward. I also explained that there would be no repercussions if it turned out that she wasn’t right for the job, and that I didn’t expect perfection from the get-go.

She agreed to do it, and she covered her first board meeting last week. She was hesitant at first, but her draft minutes were great, just as I knew they would be!

Some people pointed out that as the boss, I should expect to be able to assign work without being told, “Thanks, but no thanks.” And, yes, I am the boss and have every right to do that. But I think there’s a difference between delegating and dictating, and I want to make sure I fall on the right side of the line. So, by following your advice, I was able to get her to take on this task without resentment, and I didn’t have to resort to saying, “Do it because I said so!,” which is good for no one.

Thanks again, for helping me be the kind of boss I’d want to have.

This entry was posted in HR, Leadership. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.