There is a lot of teamwork that happens in the IT industry. Part of working in teams is sharing the workload – you can’t be expected to handle all of the work yourself. This post isn’t about delegation from a team leader or manager’s position – it’s more about how to get others to do your work for you, fairly, without manipulation or any sneaky tactics! Read on to find out more!
Why Do You Need To Know It?
The main reason people do work for each other is that their skills and experience are different. In a team of IT professionals, there is usually a range of skills and experience – experience with technology, systems or people. Team members ask others to do work if they need help with something, if the other person knows more about a certain area of the business, or if they have the required access or ability to do it. This is an important part of teamwork, not just for IT professionals, but for all teams.
1. Give And You Shall Receive
The best method for how to get others to do your work is to do something for them in return. What I mean by this, is to be responsive when they ask you to do work for them. If you’re doing work for them, when they ask you for it, and it is of a high quality, then they will remember this when you ask them if they can do something for you. Giving something to them before asking for something from them is a good way to improve teamwork.
However, don’t mention the fact that you just did something for them. Don’t say that “I just did that thing for you, could you do this for me?” It makes it seem like you only did their work to get something in return, which seems insincere, and may annoy the other person. Keep the two tasks separate – they will make the link in their mind if needed. They would realize you did something for them recently, without you bringing it up.
2. Be Considerate Of Their Time
Whenever you ask someone to do some work for you, whether it is to help you with a task, set up some access for you, review some code or anything else, make sure you’re considerate of their time. As you may realize, a lot of us IT professionals keep busy with our work. We normally don’t like to have extra work given to us, when it doesn’t help us directly.
A good way to help get a “yes” from a team member is to be considerate of their time. Opening with something like “I know you’re very busy” or “I realize you have a lot of work to do” shows that you are considerate of their time and that you don’t think of yourself as the top priority. It will help your chances of getting them to say yes, and they would be in a better mood for it, as people appreciate consideration.
3. Explain The Reason or Big Picture
Many IT professionals are interested in the reason why they do their work. They are interested in the bigger picture – why the system is being built, why a new server is being commissioned, why a company is updating to VoIP services. If you ask them to do a task for you, it helps to tell them why you’re asking them. Not just because they are the person to do it, but why it’s even being done in the first place.
A task like, “Could you give me a list of everyone who has access to this server?” might seem like enough, but consider adding a reason – “John has been asked to review the list to remove expired users and decrease the security risk to the server”. This helps the other person why it’s actually being done – it communicates the benefit of the task to them, which will help them agree to it, and is an effective tip on how to get others to do your work.
What other tips do you have on how to get others to do your work? Share them in the section below!