Working With a Manager Who Doesn't Care About the Details
It can be liberating and frustrating to work for a "big idea" person not interested in the details. Yes, it may feel good to know that you're trusted to get things done, but the responsibility can be overwhelming. Here are some techniques to try the next time your manager comes to you with an idea. Follow these steps in order:
Hear them out completely.
Reflect their enthusiasm to them.
Wait to point out potential problems until after you share your enthusiasm.
Ask clarifying questions like, “What outcomes would you like?”
Avoid delving into details; share only as much detail as they can comfortably digest.
Commit to return with a starting plan they can react to.
If your manager prefers data, try testing their idea with a quick prototype or pilot project so they can engage with early results.
Check-in frequently and explain your progress. These conversations allow you to reaffirm goals and desired outcomes, and it will enable them to adjust course before too many expenses or difficulties stack up.