As a part of a special series to help launch Duct Tape Selling we’ve asked the marketing experts at many of the valuable resources mentioned in the new book to teach us a thing or two about selling. iDoneThis is mentioned in chapter 18 – Manage Automation. Enjoy the below post from Janet Choi from iDoneThis.
If busy managers could have one superpower, they’d probably wish for X-ray vision into everything that’s happening with the business and the people they manage. Some all-knowing ability would sure make the job of juggling people, projects, content, strategies, and relationships easier.
While you have to stay in touch to understand what’s going on with everyone and their work, you don’t want to be that hovering micromanager who makes your team miserable. Not only does that tactic obstruct actual work from getting done, it also sends the message that you don’t trust people, discouraging them from putting in their best work.
Creepy omniscience and monitoring micromanagement aren’t the best ways to lead, but it’s still possible to inject some transparency into the way you work that will make everyone’s job easier.
Do Things, Tell People
The quality of your team’s communication is powerful enough to make or break a project or outcome. Yet most of the time, we think about our work as the tasks and projects we have to finish. We neglect the other half of our job — which requires communicating about what we’ve done.
Instead, we assume that things are happening and moving forward, and when we find out that this vague belief isn’t true, it’s too late or fixes have to be made. When your job requires collaboration or if you’re a manager trying to keep the wheels running smoothly, you can’t move forward on this vague belief.
Telling people about your work is crucial to making good progress. When you gain the ability to see these moving parts and understand where there’s a jam, you start to grasp how you can improve and work better. Increased transparency and communication about what people have done addresses everyone’s knowledge-gap, not just managers, improving overall team effectiveness.
Make It a Team-Wide Process
So how do you get people to communicate what they get done without annoying them or causing extra, useless work? Come up with an accessible system of sharing information on a regular, convenient rhythm. So instead of constantly disrupting people to ask for updates or having to go information-hunting so you can get your work done, everyone can be on the same page.
For the remote team spread across three different countries and eight time zones at Laura Roeder’s company, LKR Social Media, this means making a team-wide done list where they write down and share what they get done every day. They use iDoneThis, which sends you a reminder email to reply to on your own time and a digest the next morning of what the rest of your team has done.
Not only does this process provide a chance to look back on the individual and collective progress of the day, Laura says she gets “a clear picture of what everyone’s up to without having to ask.”
Be a Great Manager by Getting Out of the Way
Tina Fey, in her memoir Bossypants, points out: “In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of the way.”
Successful selling means that you’re not just talking at people, you’re listening to them to understand what they need. In the same way, listen to your team when they show and tell their work to understand what they need to move forward. The result will be less noise like “hey, what did you get done?” from managers and unhelpful radio silence and more useful signals like “so I finished a draft of this sales plan but need help understanding your sales pipeline report.”
When there’s transparency about what everyone — including yourself — is working on, it opens up the opportunity for people to help each other and empowers teams to do their best work without having to scavenge for knowledge.
Janet Choi is the Chief Creative Officer at iDoneThis, an incredibly simple way to share your progress with your colleagues at work. Learn the science behind how done lists help you work and manage smarter in our free eBook,The Busy Person’s Guide to the Done List. Say hi on Twitter @lethargarian or on Google+.