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Submitted by tiomikel on


I have a direct (receptionist / admin assistant) who, I believe, asks me questions and asks of my time when it is unnecessary. (see bottom of post for examples). I gave feedback: When you ask me questions that I think you should know the answer to it slows us down on our projects and increases the consideration I put into assigning you work. How can you do this differently in the future?

While I gave that feedback, I am also very aware of many MT recommendations to ask "what do you need," and to realize that other behavior/communication types (High S?) want to chat and I have to alter my style to accommodate (I am High D).

Help me reconcile. Should I be accommodating to questions and time requested by direct reports on work assigned regardless of what I think of the questions and time? Was my feedback above really me just arguing for my High D style or do I have a right to ask that my directs are more judicious about making demands of my time?

I hold weekly one on ones - last 3 months - 72% (Lot more travel during that time). 3 months prior I exceeded 80% on my O3s. I provide about 4-5 affirming feedback for every one adjusting.

Examples of kind of questions:

I asked her to order something from the local trophy store and she will stop me with yellow pages in hand and ask me what she should look under in the yellow pages (there is only one trophy shop in town and it is under Trophy - she also already had the email contact info for said store). Another example - she is pulling together data for a slide deck and she asks me for data that is missing for a slide - the slide she was referring to was the company logo title data associated.


thanks for any assistance,


Mark's picture
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Just tell her, after asking, "When you ask questions that are pretty simple, like that one, it takes us both time that we could have saved.  Next time could you try to make the decision on your own?"

Stay polite and pleasant, and keep saying it.


PS: If she asks what happens when she does it wrong, tell her you don't think that will happen, and even if it does, we'll deal with it then.