Don’t Negate the Work of Colleagues and Employees

Posted October 25, 2009 by Marcy Twete in On the Ladder
There will always be projects we accomplish for nothing. Maybe we miss the mark, maybe our boss wasn’t clear on the desired outcomes. But we’ve all been there. You think you know exactly what needs to be done and when you finish it, it’s either the wrong thing, off the mark, or just plain doesn’t work for whatever reason. And there you stand, with hours of work behind you realizing you just put in all that time for nothing.
The worst thing a leader can do in this situation is throw away the work you’ve done and criticize you for either misunderstanding or not hitting the mark they wanted you to hit. The better way to approach this situation is to say, “I understand you’ve put in a great deal of work on this project. While it may not be perfect for this situation, let’s make sure we find a way to utilize the work you’ve done in the future.” And the most important thing, acknowledge the time spent. “I know it must be frustrating that this project didn’t turn out exactly the way we both hoped it would. But I know you put in a great deal of time and I appreciate your initiative and hard work to move things forward. Let’s work together to accomplish the goals we need to, even if we were off the mark the first time.”

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."