Body Language : Basic Managerial Skills; V5 Issue 1

Research has shown that in a face to face communication, when incongruity exists between what is being said and the way it is being said, only 7% of the message is actually conveyed through the words. We communicate 38% through the tone of our voice and a surprising 55% is communicated using our ‘body’ (Albert Mehrabian’s 7-38-55% rule). Body language is what we “convey” to each other without the use of words. Knowledge of body language can help us in correctly interpreting what the other person is trying to say at the work place. It can also help us in becoming more aware of our own body language. This awareness can help us manage it better in order to communicate effectively. By gaining a better understanding of how body language works and by working on making our body language positive, we can have more effective interactions and establish better relationships with our colleagues and customers.

Key Elements of Body Language

  • Body Posture: The way a person holds his/ her body can communicate a lot about a person’s state of mind.

  • Eye Contact: Eyes can reveal moods and feelings, as well as intentions and interest. We can tell a lot from the way a person holds your gaze or the lack of it.

  • Facial Expression: Our facial expression is perhaps the most easily read of all signs and also the most difficult to control.

  • Gestures: While movements/actions of our hands, legs and body can differ in their interpretation across geographies, most of them are easily understood and are defined in the cultural context.

  • Touch: Whenever applicable, the manner in which a person touches another can reveal a great deal about his/her character.

  • Personal Space: The distance maintained by a person while talking can indicate the level of trust and openness between individuals. Every person has a well-defined personal space around him/ her known as the body buffer zone. The distance increases as the intimacy decreases.

Interpreting Body Language signs

  • Body language showing attentiveness: A person who is being attentive will listen closely and ignore distractions.The body posture is likely to be still rather than fidgety. He/she might lean forward a little bit towards the speaker with the head remaining slightly tilted.The gaze of such a person is mostly direct, without much blinking. A furrowed brow is often accompanied with such a gaze to indicate concentration, while slow nodding will indicate understanding and approval.

  • Body language showing aggression: Aggression can most easily be seen in a person’s facial expressions. Disapproving frowns, pursed lips and sneers can signal aggressiveness. Long and constant eye contact can be interpreted more as a ‘cold stare’. This is often accompanied with occasional narrowing of the eyes. The fists could be closed or clenched and he/she might invade the personal zone (by moving closer) without permission. Gestures such as finger pointing, banging closed fists on the table, standing in a tense and erect manner with arms held akimbo can mostly be interpreted as aggression.

  • When a person is lying: A person who is lying will avoid making prolonged eye contact. He/she might make eye contact for a very short while and then break the gaze and look away, and do this continuously. Hands touching face, throat and mouth in nervous gestures can also give away a lie. Expressions are limited only to the mouth movements, rather than the whole face echoing the same emotion which is being mouthed. A liar might unconsciously place objects (books, a coffee cup etc.) between themselves and you while conversing.

  • Boredom: A bored person will be distracted and will tend to fidget with objects around them. He/she will look away continuously from the person who is speaking. Tapping toes, swinging feet, drumming of fingers and stretching are considered to be actions associated with boredom. He/she may also slouch in the seat, or stand with sagging shoulders.

  • Some common interpretations: Relaxed posture, good eye contact, nodding in agreement, smiling/adding humour, leaning closer and gesturing warmly with palms open are generally interpreted as positive body language. Conversely, tense body, arms folded tersely in front, hand on face, fidgeting, impatient gestures, distracted gaze, leaning away and unpleasant facial expressions are counted as negative body language. Being seated at the edge of a chair, clearing the throat time and again while speaking, stammering, sweating etc. are mostly considered to be signs of nervousness.

  • Combinations count more than individual gestures: Body language counts more when a cluster of expressions are read in combination with each other rather than individually.

  • Social and cultural context: Interpretation of each body language element is governed by social and cultural context. For e.g. while pointing at things/another person is a common practice in the Western world, it is considered especially rude in China to point your forefinger publically.

  • Transitions are more important than positions: Interpreting transition from one body position to another is more meaningful than trying to read a single, continuous body position.

  • Masking: People often use various methods to mask their body language. While some body language is involuntary (e.g. sweating) and cannot be masked, some others (e.g. facial expressions) can be masked with continued practice. Close observation is the key here.

  • Mirroring: Mirroring of body language generally indicates agreement. During a discussion, the person opposite you might imitate/mirror your gesture or follow your change in posture to indicate that he/she is ‘with you’ or to make you comfortable and put you at ease.

Tips to communicate positively using Body Language

  • Stand straight with feet slightly apart and firmly planted in the ground. In case you are seated, occupy at least 80% of the chair and make sure you do not slouch.

  • Gesture with open hands while speaking.

  • Keep the hands away from the face.

  • For a small audience, maintain eye contact with as many individuals as you can while speaking. For a large group, make and hold eye contact with different sections of the audience.

  • Facial expressions should be in congruent with and at the same time as the words being spoken.

  • Try and vary the tone of your voice rather than speaking in a monotone.

  • Smile whenever and wherever applicable – it is the most universally understood body language!

Interviewing : Basic Managerial Skills; V4 Issue 4

Effective interviewing is the key to identifying the best candidate for a job, and creating a positive impression on the candidate. Ineffective interviewing can be a put off for good candidates, lead to bad hiring decisions, be a waste of your time and efforts and negatively impact your company’s Employer Brand.

Tips for effective Interviewing

  1. Prepare:Understand the job description, skills required for the job and candidate’s resume details. Provide the candidate information about your company and job, beforehand. Thus valuable interview time will not be spent in understanding facts already available to both of you. Schedule adequate and uninterrupted interview time and appropriate space. Write down in detail the skills you want to hire for to help you make a decision when you meet the first suitable candidate instead of waiting to meet the “ideal” candidate.

  2. Build a rapport with the candidate:This is essential in being able to elicit high quality information from the candidate. You want the candidate to be able to demonstrate himself/herself at his/her best which is more likely if he/she is at ease with you. Being warm and opening the interview with a few easy, non threatening questions can help you achieve this.

  3. Create a positive experience for the candidate: Treat candidates well from the moment an interview is scheduled. Little things like giving directions to reach your office, offering water when they arrive, not keeping them waiting for too long, thanking them for coming etc can go a long way in creating that positive experience. Whereas discrimination, rudeness, inappropriate questions etc can all leave a bitter taste in the candidate. At least 80% of them will tell up to 10 people about their bad experience!

  4. Use a structured interview format: Research shows that the best way to conduct a job interview is by structuring all aspects of the interview process and content. Asking different questions of each candidate leads to a skewed assessment of who would best perform the job. Ask questions to get particular information, only in the context of a core set of questions asked of all candidates. To avoid the same questions being asked by multiple interviewers, record details of your interview.

  5. Ask the right questions:Be prepared with questions and the way you will ask. Open-ended questions such as "Tell me about X project and your role in it" will get a better response than closed-ended questions such as "So you were leading X project?” Avoid questions that address issues irrelevant to job performance. Understanding the context (i.e. degree of difficulty) of a candidate’s past job performance is critical in ranking competing candidates and choosing the most suitable candidate. Use evidence based answers drawn from past performance. Theoretical knowledge or speculative answers (‘would do’, ‘could do’, ‘should do’) have a low correlation to actual skills/attitude and performance. An interview should focus on specific and key role requirements of the job and not on finding reasons for rejecting the candidate.

  6. Ensure you have face to face meeting and fast closures: You learn much more about candidates when you interview them face-to-face than over the phone. It is important that the time between the initial contact with the candidate, first interview, second interview and the offer is less since good candidates get other opportunities and you can lose them.

  7. Avoid common interviewing errors: Some of the common interviewing errors apart from, not selecting candidates smarter than you, that you need to watch out for are listed below. Detailed note taking during the interview, being aware of possible errors and a reasonable period of time between interviews may help reduce some of these errors.
    • Leniency /Central Tendency/ Stringency ErrorRating all candidates as superior/average /poor.

    • “Similar-To-Me-Error”, Physical Attractiveness: Evaluating an interviewee favourably because he/she is similar in some ways to you or is physically attractive.

    • Stereotyping: Forming an opinion about people of a given gender, religion, race, appearance, or other characteristic without any evidence.

    • First impressions: Making a snap judgment based on people’s first impression.

    • Negative emphasis: Rejecting a candidate based on a small amount of negative information.

    • Halo/horn effect: Allowing candidate’s one strong/weak point to overshadow everything else.

    • Nonverbal bias: Undue emphasis on nonverbal cues like a soft voice that have nothing to do with the job.

    • Contrast effect: Strong candidates who interview after weak ones may appear more qualified than they are because of the contrast between the two.

  8. Sell the company and job opportunity during the interview: Most candidates are evaluating several jobs simultaneously. So, prepare a couple of powerful selling points that you will highlight during the interview. Don’t try telling the candidate everything before you have established that there is mutual interest. Provide candidates with information that will create an interest in them for the job and your company.

Coaching: Basic Managerial Skills; V4 Issue 3

Did you know that to be truly effective as a manager apart from the skills of managing and leading you also need to master one another valuable skill? This skill is Coaching. By being a Coach you can support your subordinates in their learning, and enable them to develop the skills, knowledge and attitude necessary to successfully deliver to their job responsibilities and goals. Coaching does not mean simply correcting today's problem. It means preventing the problem from resurfacing. As a manager, you can be an effective coach to your subordinates, by following a few simple tips.

Tips for Coaching


  • Coach the individual, not the group: Coaching relationship is built one-on-one and not in a group. Treat every team member as an individual and take time to learn their unique needs and unique set of strengths. Be in tune with his/her personal aspirations and interests. Capitaliz on his/her strengths. Use tailor made coaching approaches. For example determine your coaching method based on an individual’s learning style or preference for informal/formal learning methods.
  • Practice active listening: Good coaches listen completely. They resist the temptation to give instant advice or answers, even if they know them. They give people time to get to a point fully, and only then attempt to work out a solution. They know how to draw more out of people by offering encouragement while listening to them. They say things like “That’s interesting. Can you tell me more about that?”
  • Ask questions to facilitate learning: Ask questions, not to gather facts but to elicit solutions, feelings, ideas and new thoughts and to help people open up. Asking your subordinates questions challenge them to think harder and more broadly about issues, thereby enlarging their perspective and improving their reasoning skills. Questions can generate better solutions. Good questions are neutral rather than judgmental or critical. They help people see new angles on issues and explore new options for dealing with them. This means you should avoid closed questions, that contain the answer or which end discussions prematurely. Some examples of good questions are… What is causing you concern? How would you like to approach the problem? Who else should we include? Is there another way to look at this?
  • Provide constructive feedback: Provide clear, constructive and timely feedback in a manner that encourages learning. Catch people doing things right and praise them. Do not shy away from honest feedback about things that need strengthening, but give critical feedback in a non-threatening manner.
  • Facilitate developmental plans: Support your team members in identifying development gaps and making development plans. Regularly monitor and review developmental plans. Engage in development and career planning dialogues with team members. Make them aware about the different areas where they can contribute to the organization and at the same time meet their career aspirations.
  • Guide by sharing personal insights, learning, and experiences: Take every available opportunity to transfer your knowledge to your team members. Look for teaching moments. It could be a meeting or an email. Narrate your personal experiences or a success story. Model the behaviours you wish to instil in others.
  • Stretch team members without causing them to fail: Push them to do better. At the same time don’t break them by pushing too hard. Remove barriers to learning and find creative ways to encourage skill development. Create opportunities to enhance their skills and knowledge. For instance on the job learning, job rotation, challenging assignments etc can be excellent opportunities for individuals to reach their potential. Determine clear performance objectives and milestones based on mutual agreement. Leverage strengths of individuals rather than worrying about their weaknesses to accomplish the set objectives.
  • Be available when the employee needs advice, information, decisions, or support in problem solving: Having taken on the role of a coach you should make a conscious effort to make time for coaching.
  • Use coaching when appropriate: Using coaching when deadlines are tight or a crisis has arisen may not be appropriate. Precious time may be lost. However, if you do not use a coaching approach when a team member has made a mistake, the learning opportunity will be missed and the mistake may be repeated.
  • Don’t take the coach’s hat off: Lastly remember coaching should not be an event in your schedule. It should be a continuous process.

Conducting Effective Meetings : Basic Managerial Skills; V4 Issue 2

Meetings often are unending, boring and unproductive. Yet they are an inevitable part of getting things done at work. And if properly planned and conducted, meetings can generate positive energy and new ideas, encourage exchange of vital communication, ensure decisions and consensus are reached, get work done efficiently, leave participants with a sense of accomplishment and enhance your organization’s overall success. So as a manager knowing how to conduct meetings effectively and efficiently is an important skill. To help you conduct successful meetings, listed below are some key strategies that you can follow.

Tips for Conducting Effective Meeting

   Take care before the meeting: Hold a meeting only if it is absolutely necessary ie., if e-mail, telephone, or a one-to-one communication won’t do. Choose participants appropriately ie., people whose job responsibilities will be impacted most by the topic of discussion, who can provide valuable input and who can take decisions. Define the meeting purpose, develop an agenda accordingly and circulate it so that participants can come prepared. Choose appropriate place, time and time limit. Participants will be more likely to attend meetings if you make them as productive, predictable and short as possible. Allot more time for priority items for the initial period. Plan time for socialising separately during lunch, tea etc.

   Start and end the meeting on time: At the end of the meeting if important issues still need to be reviewed offer participants the option of staying or rescheduling at another time.

   Keep discussion focussed: Stating the purpose of the meeting at the beginning and sticking to the agenda will help ensure that the meeting doesn't stray into a discussion about irrelevant issues. At the same time do not stifle creativity or free expression of thoughts. Use tact to control disruptions and to end discussions when they’re going nowhere or become personal. If topics come up that require significant time for debate, consider whether they can be addressed at another meeting. Your goal is to achieve the objectives you've identified for this particular discussion.

   Encourage candid and intense discussions: For each discussion item ensure all debatable points are debated and  closed. If no robust debate took place then it means people did not state their misgivings and were not honest with their opinions. When people accept an action item after discussing how they feel about it they are most likely to be committed to it and are likely to succeed in getting it done.

   Create an informal environment: In effective meetings people are fully involved in the process. They are able to engage and relate to one another personally and hence are not afraid of being frank with each other. Informality is critical to candour. Allowing some unstructured socialising time before the meeting is one way to help people engage with each other more informally. Figure out appropriate ways to put participants at ease. Welcome the participants, introduce the participants to each other if they are new to each other, allow brief time for exchange of pleasantries, induce humour through sharing of funny stories or anecdotes, include fun energisers etc

   Ensure effective participation of all participants: Some people tend to dominate meetings. But for a meeting to be effective, it’s important to not let one person dominate. Solicit inputs regularly from those who may not otherwise express their views during meetings. Try saying “When I was talking to Asha about this yesterday, she mentioned a possible solution to this issue. Asha, you can explain it to the group better than I can.” Listen attentively and show appreciation for all participant inputs.

   Conclude with actionable points: This is a must. Do not leave any issue open. All action items should include the name of the owner and agreed upon time frames for completion.

   Take care after the meeting: Thank the participants for coming and take their feedback on the meeting process on what can be done better next time. Circulate minutes of the meeting to all participants. Follow up on the agreed upon action points to ensure timely completion.

Managing Team Member’s Performance : Basic Managerial Skills; V4 Issue 1

As a manager you are responsible for managing your team member’s performance towards achieving your organisation goals. You can contribute immensely to your organisation’s success by ensuring your team member’s successful performance. Managing your team member’s performance is not only about measuring his/her performance during the annual performance appraisal. It is also about creating a work environment in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities.

Checklist for managing team member’s performance

Essential Actions

      Get the basics right: One simple reason why people sometimes fail to meet
      your expectations is that they don’t know what they are expected to deliver
      on. Developing a clear Job Description will take care of this. Though more
      often than not we inherit teams, as far as possible select the right person
      for the job,
 to ensure the person’s success in that job. Provide him/her
      adequate induction and training required to succeed. Even if the person
      is moving to your team from another department, induction to the new job
      and team is important.


    Plan for performance: To manage performance it is important to set
    performance standards by setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, 
    Aspirational, Realistic, Time bound) goals. Get their buy-in for the assigned
    Goals instead of just handing out the goals so that you have his/her
    commitment for achieving them. Ensure the goals are aligned with the
    department and organisation goals.

The Performance Coach

 Provide on-going coaching and feedback: This is the most difficult and important component. You need to show him/her the ropes of the job, guiding him/her in the right direction. While providing regular and specific feedback that addresses both their strengths and weaknesses, focus more on building on the strengths. Instead of waiting for a performance appraisal provide feedback immediately after behaviour is observed.

Help them work through the blocks to output: The blocks could be different for different people at different times. It could be related to self, team, customer or organisation. Help your team members recognise them and tackle them.

Give wiggle room: While providing guidance take care that you are not breathing down their neck. Give them enough flexibility to exercise their creativity. Encourage new ideas from them. They should feel free to come to you and talk about anything that would contribute to their growth/company’s growth. Once ‘what need to be achieved’ part has been determined leave it to them to figure out the ‘how to achieve it’ part, in alignment with organisation values.

 Recognise a job well done: A pat on the back will spur them on to continue doing well. Any kind of recognition be it in private or public can be a big motivator.

Conduct quarterly performance development discussions: Since frequent performance discussions are not threatening, hold monthly performance discussions. Follow a standard format for the meeting so that team members know what to expect. Always start with positives and get team members to do most of the talking. Ask them to state what they are pleased about since the last meeting and then what they feel they could have done better. Then ask what they feel they need to do differently in future. This way they will not get defensive about improvement areas. If they do not highlight a specific point bring it into the discussion by asking relevant questions. For example ask “How do you feel the negotiation went yesterday? How could you have helped it go smoother?” Get an agreement on action points and next set of goals.

The Supportive Manager

Extend the support necessary to deliver: Make sure all necessary work resources are made available. Step in to ensure there is timely support from the other teams. Help them understand who the key people in the organisation are whose support is required for an initiative to succeed etc. 

Help them see the big picture: Communicate with your team member often about the happenings in the industry, company etc. Send them regular updates on relevant issues. Help them appreciate the impact on their jobs of changes at the organisational level. Help them see how they are contributing to meeting of the organisation goals. Feeling that they are part of something bigger than their jobs will drive them to do better.

 Facilitate team member’s career development: Your goal is to achieve the company’ goals through your team. However, people don’t perform for meeting the organization’s goals, if their own personal goals are not accomplished as well. As a manager you are possibly the best person to help the individual attain his potential and meet his career aspirations. Identify his/her talents, encourage development of his/her skills and identify career development opportunities like job rotation, special assignments etc towards furthering his/her career within the organisation.

Be a caring boss: Create a relaxed, joyful and fun office environment. Be there for them when things go wrong and encourage them to learn from their mistakes. Be flexible. Suppose one of your team members who works extremely hard for you wants to come late one day so that he/she can attend his/her daughter's sports day. By all means, let him/her do this without having to worry about coming late! Genuinely caring for each of your team members will create a bond between you and them, a bond that will increase their commitment to doing a good job.

Active Listening : Basic Managerial Skills; V3 Issue 4

Active listening is essentially effective listening. It is not just passive hearing ie., hearing only the words that a person is saying. Active listening is trying to understand the total message ie., the content and the intent by paying attention to what is left unsaid as much as what is being said, the body language, the tone of voice, inflections, volume etc. As a manager active listening helps significantly in soliciting better information from others and in understanding, responding and influencing others in a positive way. To help you listen actively and in turn improve your productivity, listed below are some tips.

Tips for Active Listening

Pay undivided attention: Most individuals speak at the rate of 175 to 200
      words per minute but are capable of listening and processing words at the
      rate of 600 to 1,000 words per minute. So, quite often while listening, you
      may start thinking about a task or start framing a response to what the
      person is saying etc. Instead put aside distracting thoughts and focus on
      giving the speaker your complete attention. Look at the speaker and avoid
      being distracted by environmental factors.

Do not talk: Though this may seem obvious many people listen with
      impatience. They are just waiting for their chance to speak or they interrupt

  Demonstrate that you are listening: Show the speaker you are listening by nodding your head. Maintain eye contact with the person. Use your own body language and gestures to convey your attention. Lean forward and do not use your hands to play with things. Smile or use other appropriate facial expressions. Encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal comments like “yes”, and “uh huh”. Summarize the speaker’s comments periodically. 

Defer judgment: Avoid early evaluations when listening to a person with whom you disagree. When listeners begin to disagree with a sender's message, they tend to misinterpret the remaining information and distort its intended meaning so that it is consistent with their own beliefs. Interrupting with counter arguments can frustrate the speaker and limits full understanding of the message for the listener. So allow the speaker to finish. Be open and don’t just search for a point that supports your own opinions. Be willing to gain new insights and learn about someone else’s ideas.

Don’t get defensive: Don’t take what another person says personally when what he or she is saying is not meant to be personal. Even if you do not agree with what the speaker is saying, avoid defensive statements or phrases that argue with his or her points. There is time for that later. As an active and effective listener, your role is first to give the person the time and space to fully express his or her feelings

Paraphrase: Paraphrasing is putting into your own words what you thought you heard and saying it to the sender.Paraphrasing by saying “What I’m hearing is…” and “Sounds like you are saying…” are great ways to reflect back. For example, when your subordinate states that “You have promoted Simmy over me. I can do the job better than her”, you can paraphrase by saying “I think you are upset about not being promoted and you feel I have been unfair while making the promotion recommendation”. Paraphrasing clarifies to the sender that his or her message was correctly received and encourage him/her to expand on what he or she is trying to communicate.

Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify certain points or to obtain additional information. Ask open-ended questions like “What do you mean when you say…” “What kind of problems are you facing?” They require the speaker to convey more information. Questions should be framed in a way that makes it clear you have not yet drawn any conclusions.This will assure the speaker that you are interested in obtaining more and better information. The more informationthat you have as a listener, the better you can respond to the speaker's communication.

 Listen for feelings:When listening, focus not only on the words but also on the way they are being said. Observe the speaker’s body language. The way a speaker is standing, the tone of voice and inflection he or she is using, and what the speaker is doing with his or her hands are all part of the message that is being sent. A person who raises his or her voice is probably either angry or frustrated.

    Respond appropriately: Be candid, open, and honest in your response. Assert your opinions respectfully. Sometimes people just want you to listen so that they can work out the problem themselves. The moment the problem is stated don’t suggest solutions.

Delegation : Basic Managerial Skills; V3 Issue 3

Delegation typically is the assignment of authority and responsibility by a manager to his/her subordinate to carry out specific activities. The manager remains accountable for the outcome of the delegated work. Delegation empowers the subordinate to make decisions. As a manager, delegating allows you to concentrate on things that you believe require your personal knowledge/skill and helps you raise your subordinate’s level of knowledge/skill.

Tips for Effective Delegation

  •  Select the right person for the job. The person should be qualified to deliver the results or experience learning from taking on this task which the company can draw on at a later time.
  •  Explain the reasons: Why is the job being delegated. Why to that person? What is its importance and relevance? Where does it fit in the overall scheme of things? What's in it for him/her?
  •  Delegate the entire job to one person and give them full authority: This will heighten the individual's interest in the project and provide a deeper sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when the task is completed. Although the ultimate responsibility lies with you, when you delegate something to someone, be sure that others know that you've given the responsibility and authority to that individual, and that he/she is accountable for producing the result.
  •     Focus on results: When assigning a project, allow the person to develop the methodology for how to achieve the goal. Focus on what you want, not how to do it. That way the individual feels a greater sense of ownership for achieving the results.
  •     Involve the person while delegating: Don't do all the talking. Encourage subordinate’s suggestions and comments. Instead of just asking "Do you understand?", ask questions such as, "Any ideas as to how you'll proceed?" etc. State required results and establish deadlines, parameters, conditions and terms before you delegate: 
  •       What must be achieved? Explain what success looks like so he/she has a clear picture of what you want to accomplish. Make sure they know how you will decide that the job is being successfully done. Don't leave due dates uncertain or open-ended. State parameters etc up front and do not impose controls after you've delegated.
  •     Periodically review: Keep track of the status of the project without micromanaging. Ask the person to report progress on specific dates you've agreed upon.
  •     Give positive and corrective feedback: While reviewing focus on what is right and what can be done to improve.
  •     Provide the resources required: Provide finance, use of technology tools, access to any knowledge base, necessary manpower resources etc.
  •     Offer guidance and advice without interfering: Point out potential roadblocks that they may encounter like unpredictable market or a slow to respond vendor etc.
  •     Don't let them delegate back to you: If your subordinate brings a problem to you, you can listen without assuming responsibility for solving the problem. He/she may ask you for your suggestions. You should instead ask for his/her suggestions first before making any of yours.
  •     Provide back-up and support when necessary: It could be in the form of making a discreet phone call to someone involved who is not cooperating with the person, standing in for him/her when he is tied up with something else etc.
  •     Give full credit and recognition to the person who gets the job done: Don't take the credit yourself. But if the person is unsuccessful in delivering, absorb the consequences of failure yourself.