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.