End Team Squabbling By Refocusing On The Goal
Cease the turf wars before they escalate
It’s happening again. Employee A is in your office asking you to force Employee B to provide some help. “I can’t succeed without this and my work is more important.” Of course, you’ve heard this before. Come to think of it, last week Employee B made making a play for Employee C’s budget. And the week before that, A and C showed up together to talk you out of funding B’s newest program. “We need those resources for our work,” they sniveled, “it’s so important.”
But at the moment it’s Employee A telling the story. And to be honest, this one sounds reasonable. If you’re reading things correctly – that is, seeing the truth behind the attempt to convince – Employee A faces some real challenges. A little nudge from you on B would take care of much of the problem, and it’s fair to say that A’s work represents a critical part of your commitment to your own boss. You certainly don’t want A failing. It’s so compelling, you muse to yourself, it’s tempting to grant the request.
Of course, that’s a problem, too. Make an exception and you appear to be favoring one division over another, or one person over another. Just one opens the floodgates for every other request your team can dream up. Besides, you worked hard to assign heads and budgets and such, using the most careful consideration and the best planning you could muster. And you don’t want B failing either. Revisiting one part of who-does-what means revisiting it all, psychologically if not operationally. Who has time? Maybe it’s better not to change anything until the next planning cycle, whenever that is.
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