In my long tenure as a middle manager, there have been many times when I’ve felt my boss, or even the company, was being unreasonable. When it comes to working with my team, I’ve always strived to be as reasonable as I’m able while still properly representing the interests of my employer. This can be especially difficult during those weeks of salary and bonus negotiations!
When working with your team, the best first step in being reasonable is truly listening. The next is being aware of each person’s background and capabilities. Knowing the person helps you understand what kind of projects you can assign, and listening will inform you how they intend to approach a problem.
Keep in mind that the way you or I might approach a project or problem may be different from the way others might look at it, and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as the ends are met. As long as everyone is aware of the goal, the associated deadlines, and the level of urgency, the reasonable approach is to yield and let your delegate run the project as they see fit.
Being reasonable will help everyone reach their goals. It will also help you build an effective and cohesive team.