Delegation… Free Yourself to do MORE

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Guest post by W4C3 Coach, Cornelia Shipley

I know I know, I often talk about work life balance  and today I wanted to share one of the keys to creating balance DELEGATION!  Delegation can be one of the hardest things to do; and it is one of the foundations for empowering your life.

Now in my work with executives I have come to learn that many people fear delegating. Now you might say, “I’m not afraid to delegate. I can’t wait to get some things off my plate.” That said, my guess is you may be suffering from a “do it yourself” mindset that gets in the way of your ability to empower others to deliver on your behalf.  Let’s see if I am right … do you find yourself saying/thinking any of these things?

“I can do it better.”/”Nobody does it as well as I do.”

“I don’t have time to teach someone else to do it.”

“It will take me longer to teach someone to do it than to do it myself.”

“It would take me longer to tell someone what needs to be done than to do it myself.”

“It would take someone else too long to get it done.”

“Unless I do it, I can’t be sure it’s being done right.”

If you believe that it will take to long or you can do it better, you will NEVER delegate anything to anyone. Worse yet, as a leader you will never empower those who work with you to learn the skills necessary for success. Delegation really is an investment in the development of another  in most every area of life (especially at work). Think about it, when you delegate a project or task to a team member you are providing them with the opportunity to learn or develop a new set of skills which ideally are critical to their long term success.

It is not enough to decided to delegate, you have to delegate the “right” things. For you, that likely means delegating those things which you are not BRILLIANT at! That is right if you are not BRILLIANT at it, someone else should likely be doing it! I recognize that there are some tasks you simply do not want to delegate out of a sense of obligation. In my opinion these are some of the first tasks that “should” be delegated.

By now I hope I have convinced you of the value of delegation. If you are like many of my clients you are asking yourself… “Okay Cornelia, I am ready to delegate but how do I get started?”  Well, here is how:

  1. Identify what you need to delegate. Be specific about both what you intend to delegate and the result you are expecting the person to deliver. For example are you expecting dinner (which could be anything from fast food to a five star meal) or are you expecting meatless lasagna, with a garlic toast and a mixed green salad.
  2. Choose someone to delegate to. Who do you know that can take this over for you? Now don’t think about whether or not they are currently capable. Think about whether or not they have the potential and the capacity to do the task. This allows you to shift your perspective to one where you as a leader are constantly creating new development opportunities for your team. (Remember when delegating you cannot disappear you have to stay present to provide adequate support)
  3. Provide clear instruction and your expectation of how success will be measured.  Now at first,the results might not be exactly as you expected. Remember everyone has a  learning curve.  When you are delegating mission critical tasks be sure to include check-ins and reviews throughout the process to ensure the task or project is progressing as needed. .
  4. Focus on building the capacity of your team. When you make the process about learning, you will find that you achieve success quicker and are a lot less stressed.
  5. Be gracious. Make sure that the person who  you are delegating to knows you are grateful for their contribution and encourage them as they achieve success along the way.

With this road map, go out and delegate with confidence and clarity! When you can delegate those things you are not BRILLIANT at you free yourself to do MORE! You create the space to be MORE BRILLIANT, BOLD, and AUTHENTIC and to focus on those things you do better than anyone else! The world needs the best you have to offer at all times so PLEASE for the rest of us free yourself to be BRILLIANT by delegating MORE!

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