Stop monkeying around!

Stop monkeying around.

Stop monkeying around!

Many years ago I read an article written by Harvard Business Review entitled “Who’s got the monkey?”. It rang true to me at the time and since then I have used this article many, many times with clients. So, I thought I would share it with you.

What’s it all about?

You’re running down the corridor at work during a busy day. You are running from one meeting to another. A colleague stops you and says, “We’ve got a problem.” You assume you should get involved but can’t make an on-the-spot decision. You say, “Let me think about it.”

You’ve just allowed a “monkey” to leap from your colleague’s back to yours. Your colleague walks away with a smile on their face, as they don’t have to worry about that situation any more – they’ve given it to you to sort out.

Take on enough monkeys, and you won’t have time to handle your real job.

How to avoid accumulating monkeys?

Develop a response, for example, when a colleague tries to hand you a problem, clarify whether they should:

  • recommend and implement a solution of their own
  • take action then brief you immediately
  • act and report the outcome at a regular update

When you encourage others to handle their own monkeys, they acquire new skills — and you get the time to do your own job.

Here’s a link to the full article.

Keep all those monkeys that are not yours at bay …