Are You Being Guilted Into Doing More?
Ned, a development manager I know, looked exhausted. “I’m trying to keep development going, and support pre-sales, and support post-sales, and support customer support. When is my group supposed to have time to do development??”
He has a point. If his team does all the nice-guy work, they don’t have time to do work they are supposed to do. Ned committed the team to do a favor for one department once. And, because he’s a nice guy, now he feels as if he has to do favors for everyone all the time.
He is being guilted into doing more than he and his group should.
Ned is not unique. We all want to do what’s right for the organization. Sometimes we hear this as “being a team player.” Sometimes, us technical folks have specific expertise that no one else has, so we feel as if we have to perform a certain task.
Well, it’s possible that someone has to perform that work. And maybe that someone is not you or your team or group.
If you or your team are doing favors, and you are being take advantage of, it’s time to learn to say no. This might be the most difficult job you’ve ever learned. And, it might be the most useful tool you ever learn.
Once you learn all the ways to say no, you can say no to the guilt, as well as the work. And, if the work has to be done–but not by you or your group–you can work with the people who currently need you to help find a solution. You don’t have to keep this work forever.
Managing the project portfolio isn’t easy. But it allows you to complete the work that you and your group need to complete. It allows you to see what is yours to do and not do. And, it helps you learn how to manage your work without guilt. To learn more, see Manage Your Project Portfolio.
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