Five deadlocks between manager and manager

In my work as a leader, I constantly encounter the same template interactions with managers. This also applies to performers, although to a lesser extent. Despite the dissimilarity of the dialogues and working situations in which they arise, the very scheme of communication between the leader and his subordinate remains very fixed. If you are a leader, you will be surprised when you look at this communication from the side.

Below are my personal rules and conclusions. You may partially or completely disagree with them. Then I ask you in a comment on this material.

1. Question: When will the task be completed?

The answer contains one of the constructions “I will try”, “I will probably be in time”, “I will probably do it today”, “maybe”.

Will you perform your tasks or try to complete them? As a rule, the process by which the subordinate achieves the assigned task is not interesting for the manager; he needs a result within the indicated and agreed upon time.

Correct answer: To be completed today / tomorrow / by 2020. If I do not have time to do this, I will inform you in advance.

2. Approval: This must be completed today.

Answer: 5 minutes of stories why this cannot be done, then the answer: “Okay.”

In 90% of cases, this behavior looks like a favor to superiors. The interlocutor clearly shows his disregard for the opponent. You do not agree, but they forced you. You either stand firmly on your point of view, or accept the opinion of a colleague and complete the task with high quality and with love, as if you need it.

The correct answer is “Good” or “Yes, I see.”

3. Statement: In similar situations, proceed as follows ...

Answer: “I hear about it for the first time” or “Last time you said to act differently.”

If the manager gives periodically conflicting directions, then the most effective way is to fix them on paper or electronically so that there is transparency, which, first of all, is needed for solving problems. Answering, as in the example above, you show that the leader is an idiot and did not write step-by-step instructions for all occasions, although it seems that you are the manager who should be able to solve problems falling within your competence.

The correct answer is: “Yes, I see.” Or “Let's fix this moment in my job description.”

4. Question: Why was this not done on time?

Answer: I could not, because ... And then a million reasons.

Why did this happen in principle - leave out of the box for our debriefing. Of course, everyone has force majeure, although they are single in comparison with other cases.

The main reason why you could not write in the task or pick up the phone and call, write on Skype and inform in advance in any other way that the task will not be completed on time. It is possible that a lot depended on this successful solution to this particular task, and because of you this opportunity was missed.

Correct answer: But there is no right answer! Such a question, in principle, should not be applied to your work.

5. Question: What tasks are planned for today / for the week / month / year?

Answer: “I will write TK”, “communicate with customers, and then we have a meeting”.

The manager thinks that he is being asked what he will do. This is not true. He is asked what tasks will be completed, what plans will be fulfilled. He is interested in what result will be achieved, and not what process is complete.

The correct answer is: “I will finish writing the ToR, I will agree on the date of the meeting with the client, I will adjust my plans and the plans of my colleagues for the next week at the meeting”.


  • Analyze what you say;
  • Analyze why your interlocutor said this remark;
  • Analyze what information the interlocutor wanted to convey to you;
  • Think one step, or better, two steps ahead.

Or become a leader and dictate your rules of the game!

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