Note: This material has been extracted from TheEffectiveness Guide.
Have you ever wondered how to get ahead at work? How to be the person who always gets the raise, gets promoted, gets selected for further training and key assignments? And, you’re not alone. Your peers are having the same thoughts.
I’ll bet you thought that all you had to do was to be the best at what you do. Unfortunately, this is only partially true.
To progress in your career, you must be the best at what you do and be perceived by your employer as being a good Planner. What does that mean and how can you become a better Planner?
This article will focus on Planning: Why You Should Give and Receive “Backbriefings”, as I share what I’ve learned from being an Executive Coach for more than 20 years.
Why Should You Give & Receive
Your employer has given you (or is expecting you) a project (any assignment that needs others to complete). Would you like to ensure that there are no unmet expectations or hidden surprises later? If so, then, it’s a good idea to give your leader a Backbriefing. Why, because a Backbriefing enhances mutual understanding and trust by the exchange of questions and answers to ensure there are no unmet expectations or hidden surprises later.
A Backbriefing is a briefing given by a Project Lead to his Employer as to how he intends to accomplish the Employer’s objective.
What are the Advantages of a Backbriefing?
- Facilitates a clear exchange of ideas, duties, and responsibilities to ensure the successful completion of a project
- Enhances communications, trust, confidence, and credibility
- Benefits all parties involved by reducing misunderstandings and confusion
- Gives the employer feedback to make corrections or give clarification as soon as he identifies any misunderstandings
When Should a Backbriefing be Conducted?
- As the Employer, request a Backbriefing from your Project Lead either a few days after you assigned a new project or change or 90 days prior to an expected project (already part of their job description like an annual trade show or recruiting event).
- Ensure the PL has a clear picture of the objective, its importance, and how it will be assessed
- Set dates for periodic Progress Briefings
- As a Project Lead, give a Backbriefing to your employer, as soon as possible, for all requested or expected projects or changes even if you do not need approval, to ensure there are no hidden surprises or expectations.
During a Backbriefing the Employer Should:
- Ask questions to uncover any misunderstandings
- Ask for a copy of his Unresolved Issues List weekly
- Resist the urge to change the Method (How)
- Give encouragement, recognition, and support
- Provide the needed resources, authority, and guidance (constraints)
- Ask for a copy of the POA and any changes-as they occur
- Provide access anytime the PL needs it
During a Backbriefing the Project Lead should:
- Use Plan of Action (POA) format to brief your leader (Chapter 1)
- Capture all Unresolved Issues (Chapter 2) raised by your leader. Then, make changes to POA, as requested
- Follow through on questions you could not answer during the Backbriefing
- Obtain agreement on the desired end-results or Objective, how it will be measured, all major tasks to be completed, who should perform each task (Key Player), and the limit of your authority to make decisions and spend money
Note: If your employer doesn’t want a Backbriefing, send him a copy of your draft POA.
I challenge you to share this information with others because the only way to truly own knowledge is to give it away – one of the great paradoxes in life.
Giving & Receiving Backbriefings is Good Business!
In my next post, I’ll focus on how you can become a better Organizer than you were yesterday. Stay tuned! In the meantime, if you need more help, you can learn more HERE.