Connecting The Dots

Discussing the threads of my own passions which have culminated in my work as coach, mentor, presenter in my own business.

The skill of delegation

Mary Johnson - Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You're busy, so very busy. If someone would only take some work off your desk or your lengthy to-do list at home. The reply is often 'Delegate' - give away some of that work to someone else. Of course you should and it's not so simple. I know very few naturally good delegators. A couple of recent situations reminded me of how it doesn't come easy, .....

I am helping out with a large annual social event - learning the ropes as they say. Next year will be part of a group that organizes it. The good woman doing it this year is exactly that - a good woman. While one other person has taken on one task, there are no other obvious helpers other than me. I have been given a number of things to look after. What I haven't been given is complete information or the real authority to do it. I've needed to go back a time or two and clarify. Then tended to get "I've taken care of it." Just so your know I'm a fairly capable gal who's organized a few events like this. And I realized it's not about me! It's hard to let go if you don't clarify what someone can do or possibly something is a great source of pride for you. So what's my biggest take away? (the question I like to ask my clients) To have a committee of a number of capable individuals, share the responsibilities and make sure folks have what they need to do the job. I have no desire to carry this event planning alone!

The second situation was when I was looking after my 3 year old granddaughter the other day. I asked if she'd help me unload and load the dishwasher. My sweetie-pie was all over that. Now Missy is just learning - lots of things. She does get encouragement and she gets lot of correction. I told her, then showed her, what I'd like. Away she went doing her task. Now it wasn't as I would do it. Noticed I felt myself getting twitchy wanting to remind her how Grandma does it. The question I stopped myself with was "was what she was doing going to create a problem or was it acceptable?" Go figure - it was just fine - perfectly acceptable. So I thanked her very much for being such a help. She was tickled at the praise! To think I almost took that away from her to look after my need to have it my way. It was a huge reminder that in delegating, it's about fostering someone's growth and not about my need to be right. 

The upshot for me was your work workload can be shared, lightened AND someone won't do it the way you do. Or you can do it all and perhaps feel little taken advantage of. Been there, done that - both ways. I prefer the t-shirt from the first! 


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