Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's all in how you ask...

Got a great lesson from the boss this week on management, and it's especially potent for people who are in programming, and who are also talent.

When you ask someone to do something, there should be no question. So don't ask them in a way where you leave it open for discussion.

For example, don't ask "hey could you please do such and such for me?"

Instead, say "need you to do such and such."

Don't ask the question when there's no question about it. And, if you get pushback for whatever reason, don't be afraid to remind them that it's not a request, it's an order from a member of the management team.

Sometimes, in trying to "be liked" it's easy to get soft.

Was a good lesson. Looking forward to putting it into practice.


  1. I hope she also made sure to remind you, though - ASK, don't demand. Because no matter high up someone THINKS they are, they only get there by being supported by the great and talented people who are technically below them on the responsibility hierarchy.

    And those managers who go around demanding often end up alone. ;-)

    I know her though - so I'm sure she made that point too. She's a solid teacher, no doubt.

  2. Absolutely, Smitty. There were some other things we discussed too... I've learned a bunch, no doubt, about how to get some things done.

    Managers who demand don't just end up alone... they end up sending out packages.