Tips - Learn from assembling a chair


I just moved home last month and like many other people, I started buying new furniture. One afternoon, I decided to assemble a chair for my study room. It seemed like an easy text to me - I have the skill, time, space, motivation, determination, and I totally have capability to assemble a simple chair, no doubt! My dad asked me, "You need a hand?" Of course I said no.

And what did I learn? Being confident was important, assessing the task's complexity was done, I had everything ready. What else? Oh... the tools, instructions and all the parts, they came with the package, all checked. Perfect!

So what did I miss? After spending half an hour putting the first two legs together by using this little tool, my hands were all red and tired. Does it look like a right tool to you? Now I get it, the tool, the RIGHT tool! Yes it was a right tool for this particular part of the chair, but it was not right for me. My dad asked me, "How's everything?" Of course I said good!

Finally I spent about 2 hours to assemble the whole chair because I needed to take a break from time to time. My hands were tired and painful. Once I started, I had to finish it well. I was really tired. At this very moment, my daughter gave me a cup of hot tea and said "Grandpa sent me to give you this."

What did I really learn from this process? The right tool and a team with the right coach.

Having the skill is important, but not enough. You also need a team and a coach to support you though the process. They may not necessarily be holding hands and helping you out step by step, but their support will guide you to learn more about yourself, about your needs and wants, and about how to make you work better in the future.

As a manager/leader, when you delegate a responsibility to your team member, how do you assess their skills and capacity? What do they need to do their job well and success? Do you have the resource to support them? Are they ready and how should you support them? Do you and your team member understand each other's expectations about the job? If you are not sure, talk with your team member openly, eventually it is not just a one-man task, it is always a team's responsibility.

I love this chair. I love my team - FAMILY.

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