Do you have the courage to blame yourself?

You, as manager, asked a team member to do a task. After a few days you find out he messed up. He did not complete the task and as a result the project is delayed for a few days.

Scenario 1:

You think about what you said to your team member, how you described the task. It was an easy task in your opinion. The team member is already working several years for your company, he is experienced. He should have been able to finish the task with good results in the given time. So it is clear, he messed up. You decide to give him feedback about his performance. You prepare the meeting, use the five model for giving feedback. The meeting is there, you give the feedback. Your team member thanks you for the feedback and promises to do better next time. You are proud of yourself, you did a good job as manager!

Scenario 2:

You think about what you said to your team member, how you described the task. It was an easy task in your opinion. The team member is already working several years for your company, he is experienced. He should have been able to finish the task with good results in the given time. So it clear, you messed up. You gave him a task that was not clear enough, or he was lacking the tools to finish the task, or he had too many tasks and no clear priority. You decide to ask him for feedback about your performance. You prepare the meeting and send your team member the five model for giving feedback. You ask him to give feedback to you about the task you gave to him. The meeting is there, you receive the feedback. You thank your team member for the feedback and promises to do better next time. You are proud of yourself, you did a good job as manager!

Two scenarios…. the first one is the approach that you learn on 95% of the management courses. The second one is the new management style, the one that you learn by using common sense, reading blogs of thought leaders that come from the agile development community.

It is up to you to decide which scenario you prefer…. I used to believe that scenario one was the way to go… I realize now I was wrong. What scenario is your favorite one?

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