Work Advice Sought: How to Delegate with an Disengaged Team Member

I’m currently in a position for which, within a relatively narrow scope, I have the authority to delegate. (I’m effectively a project manager.)

There are a couple people on the team who frequently come back to me with “I don’t understand what you want me to do here.” That’s fair feedback, so I make an extra effort to explain the project reqs better, outline the first steps.


Their response is usually “Nope, still not getting it. Can you just look it up/fill in the spreadsheet/make the corrections/create the report you’re asking for and I’ll format it? We need to take care of this as soon as possible.”


I can’t imagine responding to a direct request with, essentially, “Nah, too hard / too busy, do it yourself.” This is so far outside my personal frame of reference that I have no idea how to counter it.


Where does this response come from, and how do I outfox the shoulder-shruggers into actually doing the work I need them to do?


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