No Assuming: It’s On You

As a small business owner, your level of accountability is already high. You take care of business as soon as you can, whenever you can. Everyone makes a mistake every now and then and you cannot dwell on them. However, many people of all career levels from an intern to the CEO has moments where they assume something will get done and then it doesn’t. You can only ensure so much of what others do and ultimately, trust is necessary to truly work efficiently. But you are in total control what you do, what you don’t do, and how you carry out a process. It’s best to eliminate assumptions and put it all on you, because when it’s your responsibility, you know it will get done. So how can you follow up without micromanaging? What advice can you give you team so that their actions maintain 100% trustworthy?

A big thing you can do is clear up any fuzzy communication immediately if possible or as soon as you can. Not everyone is the best communicator with either written or verbal forms and when someone is unreachable, there is a total lack of communication. Therefore, if you get an email that you cannot interpret or a voice message that makes your head spin, reach out to that person and ask for clarification. Bring in others to help you sort things out. Chances are a few minutes of extra communication will clear up hours worth of potentially wasted time. This will make you feel secure, get the task off your back, and get you back to more important matters so the job gets done right.

Double check your work. Whether that means inspecting an area for impeccable cleanliness, proofreading that presentation, confirming appointments, or testing out a product, checking over what you did a second or even third time will catch problems before they reach your customers and prevent future stress and complaints. No one should have to follow after you to make sure you did right. If you do this, others will follow your example because they know you mean business.

If you team does something wrong, tell them; if they do something right, tell them. Hold a brief meeting if you are seeing a problem repeatedly, but also let your team know what’s working so they keep doing that. This way, they can’t say you didn’t tell them. Once you let them know, it’s their responsibility to clear up any confusion on their end. If everyone takes full responsibility for each and every thing they are a part of, there should be minimal issues. Make it happen.