Because this is high stakes, you’d like to keep a close eye on how it’s going. If you frequently drop in and ask for an update or give unsolicited feedback, you risk making your report feel disempowered. He’ll be constantly checking over his shoulder, paranoid that you’re just around the corner.

At the same time, you don’t want to wait a month before reviewing the work. If it’s not heading down the right track, you’d like to know sooner rather than later.

Setting expectations helps with both problems. At the beginning of the project, let your report know how you’re planning to be involved. Be explicit that you’d like to review the work twice a week and talk through the most important problems together. Tell him which decisions you expect to make, and which he should make.

Managers who pop in out of the blue and throw down new requirements can breed resentment with their team. But managers who proactive lay out what they care about and how they want to engage rarely encounter those tensions.

How to deal with deadlines ?

By setting expectations that you’d like to hear about any concerns for milestones dates as soon as possible, you establish that its safe to talk about problems even in the early phases.

It’s impossible to expect perfection. We are only human. Failure will occur, projects will miss deadlines, and people will make mistakes. That’s okay. But when these things happen, readjusting expectations as quickly as possible helps people recover from errors with grace. You demonstrate care and maturity when you preempt bigger issues down the road.

Always look to make things better

The mark of a great coach is that others improve under your guidance. The question that should always be on the back of your mind is : Does my feedback lead to the change I’m hoping for?

Create accountability

The key, course, is that you need to actually believe your report is capable of solving the problem. If that’s the case, give it to her and step back so she has the space to lead. Tell everyone else that she should now be considered the owner of the problem.

Doing so creates accountability, but more important, the public declaration empowers the delegate.

Delegating a hard problem doesn’t mean you simply walk away. You’re rooting on her, helping her on whatever she needs you to do and coaching her.

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