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John Sansom - SQL Server DBA in the UK

John Sansom (@SQLBrit) is a Technology Lead with the database team at Expedia, Inc. providing consulting services and support for one of the worlds largest SQL Server environments. Awarded the Microsoft Community Contributor Award (MCC) John can be found regularly blogging about Being a DBA and Professional Development over at www.johnsansom.com.

Stop Asking and Start Making Decisions Today

Ever have one of those days where no matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to make any progress with your work?

Sure you have. We all have days and moments like that. Sometimes it can feel impossible to get any real work done, with every task in your schedule requiring feedback from someone else in order to move forward. Your boss is in meetings, the project manager has not responded to your email and your colleagues in the international team are still fast asleep. It’s frustrating!

You’re desperately trying to get things done but it’s just not happening for you. I’m going to let you in on a little secret, you’re doing it wrong!

Do You Really Have To Ask?

Often we seek out the approval of others before proceeding with a task when we don’t actually need it. Just think about that for a second. Why are you seeking out approval if you don’t even need it? You’ll often see this in email communication with phrases like “What do you think about X?”, “Is it ok if I go ahead and do Y?”, “Can you let me know how you wish to proceed…..” etc.

Do not ever ask for permission or approval unless it is absolutely required.

Take the initiative and responsibility for your actions by leading. Tell your boss, project manager or colleague how you are going to proceed. Do not ask how to do so if you have already identified how you would want to. Instead inform everyone of your decision.

Your boss hired you because you are the SQL Server expert and looks to you to for insight. Take the initiative and lead.


Informing Everyone of Your Decision

"Increase your performance by leading"

Don’t worry about whether or not people will agree with your decision to the point that it stops you from actually making one.

We’re already passed that point in the decision making process. The decision has been made. All the information available has been suitably considered and you have decided what to do. You are now informing people of this.

There are two key factors to ensuring success when working in this manner:

  1. The decision itself must be understood by all.
  2. Suitable time between communicating the decision and it’s execution, must be given.

By taking the lead and using this approach you are able to proceed ahead with your task/project without waiting for the unnecessary approval of others. It also ensures adequate opportunity to voice any concerns is provided but with the important distinction that the responsibility for doing so rests with the other party. You are good to go as of right now and will execute your decision at the communicated time, if no feedback to do otherwise is received.

Give Them Everything Needed to Make A Decision

Best of all, take the lead and make the decision yourself. Then tell them about it.

That said, if you must get approval in order to proceed on a task/project or course of action, then be sure to do absolutely everything you can to make the decision as easy as possible for the decision maker.

  1. Be sure to provide all required information to be able to make the decision.
  2. Clearly state what decision you would make.

Adhering to these two key principles ensures that you lead the way forward by clearly stating what decision you would make and minimises the time required for the decision maker to complete the decision making process(all that may be required is a simple “yes, proceed”). Using this approach will enable you to be more effective and get more actual DBA work done in less time.

Time for You To Lead

Taking the lead on tasks is the most optimal method to getting things done. Informing your boss, project manager or colleagues with your clear plan of how you are going to proceed, ensures that everyone understands what your intentions are without the need for their explicit approval to move foreword.

Increase your productivity and get more results by taking the lead in your Data Professional role today!

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Comments

Posted by Dukagjin Maloku on 26 April 2011

I totally agree and this is very professional advice!

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