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Do you find yourself shying away from giving deadlines when delegating tasks? 

Are you hesitant to put pressure on your team, opting instead for a casual “no rush” approach? 

It’s time to explore the unintended consequences of avoiding clear deadlines and why it may be adding to your own stress levels. 


Understanding the Disconnect 

When we use phrases like “there’s no rush,” we may assume that we are communicating that the task is not urgent and the other person can take their time. 

However, what we fail to convey is the timeframe we have in mind. This lack of clarity leads to misunderstandings and potential problems down the line. 


The Impact on Others 

The person receiving the task may feel uncertain about when to prioritize it, leading to confusion and potential delays. 

As a result, they may feel defensive when chased for updates or reports, perceiving it as micromanagement. This can cause undue stress and a sense of being overwhelmed with multiple urgent tasks. 


The Responsibility of Leadership 

As leaders, it’s essential to recognize our role in this dynamic. 

Our desire to be liked and supportive can inadvertently create pressure and stress for our team members. Failing to provide deadlines erodes trust and can affect how competent we appear in their eyes. 


The Solution: Setting Realistic Deadlines 

The solution is straightforward yet impactful. 

Start by setting realistic and specific deadlines based on when the task truly needs to be delivered. Avoid arbitrary or vague deadlines, and instead, communicate clear expectations. 


Demonstrate Empathy and Support 

Additionally, ask the person if the deadline is achievable based on their workload. This shows empathy and a commitment to being a supportive leader. 

If the deadline seems unattainable, have an open conversation to find a mutually agreeable alternative or help them reprioritize their tasks effectively. 



Avoiding clear deadlines in delegation can lead to misunderstandings, increased stress levels, and a loss of trust. 

As leaders, it’s crucial to balance our desire to be liked with the need to provide guidance and clarity. 

By setting realistic deadlines and fostering open communication, we can empower our team members and achieve optimal results. 

Remember, true leadership lies in developing others and creating an environment where everyone can thrive. 


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