I'm trying really hard at work to shift off a responsibility that's been mine for years, but should always have belonged to someone else if you really read the job descriptions. I've tried a few times before to readjust the situation with no success. This time, however, I think I have a real shot. The new person in that "other" role is ready and willing to take on the task, and now we are in that phase where I try to break her in without breaking her.
Last week she called her very first meeting to discuss the next project. She presented the plan, and all I did was nod and smile and offer a little encouragement. However, before she called for comments about the proposed project, I did speak up to remind the group that her experience as leader was entirely dependent on the way they chose to treat her.
I tried to explain that constructive comments about the proposal were helpful, but that too many cooks will spoil the proverbial pot. I also told them to respect her judgment and professionalism is creating the proposal. After the fact, my boss told me that he was very glad I'd spoken.
What do you think happened next? Some people did take my advice to heart. There were several who looked at the proposal and said that it seemed like a decent and reasonable idea. However, you guessed it, there were several who felt that if we would just make a few "tweaks" to the plan it would really be ever so much better.
There were even a few who actually went so far as to suggest throwing out her plan entirely to come up with something that would be more "fun." These people have never tried to write one of these proposals, and they really have no idea how hard it is to come up with something that will work on a broad level. That didn't stop them from criticizing for one second. Why? Why? Why? Must people be so insufferably nitpicky!? It's not just rude but counter-productive.