Ways to distinguish yourself – #122 Overestimate people with potential minus experience

When something needs to be delegated, generally people are comfortable to delegate stuff to others who have had experience and accomplishments in those areas. That way there is some predictability is what they think.

Of course, we all know that only in an ideal world can we always get people with the right experience (and accomplishments) to take care of things. Sometimes we need to work with people who have the potential to take care of things but they have not executed such projects in their past lives. This is very common. In fact, those who have had the experience before can vouch that sometime in their life they got the opportunity to get the “first experience” without being fully qualified to do the job. They had the potential, though.

How much a person accomplishes during their dance with the “first experience” is directly proportional to the “amount” of expectations that is placed on that person. If you want to get the best out of these people, best is to “overestimate” what they can do. That will make them stretch and reach beyond what they could do if the expectations were “normal” or “watered down.”

The general tendency among people is to “underestimate” what a person can accomplish since this is the person’s “first experience” on that particular kind of job. There is an implicit contract between the two parties which states that it’s just OK for the person to be not the “best” on this time. The problem with this approach is that the “full potential” of the person won’t come into play. The person actually does not know whether he has the potential to create “something average” or a “masterpiece.”

By overestimating what he needs to produce, you are actually giving this person a gift allowing him to stretch and bring the maximum out of whatever he has to offer to this job.
He may not like you at that point in time but a few years from now when he is flying high, he will thank you for the gift.

Have a great weekend.