Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Adding Value

I spoke with one of my college communications professors recently (meaning within the last year)and he told me about a new study finding in the business world. The problem of adding value. Many managers feel that they can add value to your work, and rightfully so, they have more experience and expertise... So when you send something in to be edited, they always want to add something to what you did, be it absolutely necessary or not.

So in "adding unnecessary value" to one's work you in turn lower morale because:

1) You make that person feel like they didn't do a good job (when they did)
2) If the person recognizes the value you added is unnecessary, they will then feel like you're wasting their time and this will create a resentful environment.

I have a manager who feels as if her thoughts and feelings are of value to me and my work. This is how she "feels" about something. Or this is what she "thinks" about XYZ. It's never a concrete thing, it's a feeling. And while intuition, insight and gut feelings can help catapult someone to the next level, it doesn't really keep me warm at night if you can't produce tangible examples.

The problem is that she doesn't realize how irritating and unnecessary all of her extra "value" is to me. She doesn't recognize her adding value as a problem. In her eyes, she's doing a good job "managing," when in actuality, she's stopped managing, started micromanaging and if I didn't know better, I'd think she was trying to DO my work.

I don't know how many times I can say, I've got it, I'll handle it, I understand or I'm on top of things in order for her to stop sending me little "tips" and "tools" about how worried she is about something (again, her feelings). I've decided that there's nothing I can do about her,

BUT

As a manager, I will make sure that if I'm editing work or making changes that I will limit my added value. When I do add value it'll be based in on facts (that word is mispelled) and not feelings (I feel like it looks so different from last year). I'll also try my damndest not to spend so much time "doing" the work of the people that I'm managing, that I forget to ACTUALLY manage them.

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