RE: Delegating

Subject: RE: Delegating
From: Kevin McLauchlan <kmclauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2007 09:49:44 -0400

On Behalf Of James Barrow noted:
> >Have the new writers shadow you. Take them to meetings with you so they
> can start >taking those same notes.
> Easier said than done. a) my manager is in Hawaii until the 16th and he
> usually likes to do the introductions/training (he's a 'talker') b) I have
> a
> 9am meeting tomorrow morning c) our director insists on splitting up
> resources in order to accomplish more. This means that he will probably
> disapprove of me taking two tech writers to one meeting, but I'll give it
> a go.

I guarantee that your director did not jump into his own job, ready to go
from day one... or if he did (attempt it) he was ineffective and probably
caused more trouble than he saved, until he ... wait for it... go up to

Getting up to speed meant learning the lay of the land at his then-new
employment, meeting people and finding out who were the resources and go-to
people for various useful and necessary things.

If he stomped in, first day, and laid down the law without getting a feel
for the place, the people, and the business realities, then he started his
tenure at your company by pooping in his own nest.

So, he can either put pressure and unreasonable assumptions on people (that
he could not meet himself), or he can do HIS job, which is two-fold - to
think/devise strategically, and to remove obstacles from your (his
underling's) path, while you do your new job, which is to support your new
bod(s) and clear obstacles from their paths... and let the necessary and
useful work commence, sooner and better.

Does this guy imagine that a developer or architect or hardware engineer
comes in and starts writing code or designing systems the first day?

If he disapproves out loud when you introduce a couple of writers to their
new milieu and to the other company personnel they'll need to know (and who
will need to know them) by herding the newbies through a working meeting or
two, then just come out and ask him for specifics:

1) Please enlighten me, what precisely do you find wrong with getting two
writers some exposure to what/who they'll need to know? Wasn't it better to
introduce both at once, and get their feet wet at the earliest opportunity?
Or should I have spaced out their entry and doubled my involvement for the
same outcome?

2) Please direct me; how should I have done this differently, and please let
me know why it would be better, so I can grow as a manager.

OR - I noticed your frown when I walked into that meeting to introduce my
two writers to their projects and key personnel and our procedures. Is there
something wrong?

The way to deal with people who try to "manage" by general disapproval and
non-specific ire is to relentlessly demand specifics. "How would you prefer
this to be done in future? What makes that 'better', so I can learn to
generalize to other situations?"

Just like in a marriage, "If you don't already know, then I'm not about to
tell you" doesn't cut it. He's not paying you enough to be a mind-reader.

The information contained in this electronic mail transmission may be privileged and confidential, and therefore, protected from disclosure. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by replying to this message and deleting it from your computer without copying or disclosing it.

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: RE: Paths to Seniority - from technical support to technical writ ing?
Next by Author: RE: Grammar Question
Previous by Thread: Decoding Interview Questions
Next by Thread: Acrobat 6.0 PDF conversion issues.

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads