Tuesday’s Chill Pill: Is Your Perception Stopping You from Delegating?

Have you ever had one thing on your plate that you were really, really tired of and wanted to hand off to someone else, but weren’t able to get anyone to take on?

What do you think stopped you from delegating it effectively?

Perception Is a Funny Thing

A few weeks ago, I was really struggling to delegate something. My problem wasn’t with the concept of delegating – I was really desperate to take it off of my plate! But I had no budget, so I couldn’t pay for someone to do the work. Weeks went by and…no joy. The darn job was stuck to my to-do list like glue.

Ball and Chain

As I lamented about it to a friend, she asked me what I thought about the job I was trying to delegate. My shoulders drooped, I sighed, and proceeded to describe it as I felt it: a giant albatross around my neck that was literally drowning me. After listening to me for a few seconds, she cut me off abruptly with the question, “Now tell me why on earth I’d want to take that on?” Her straightforward question reminded me that my own perspective about the job was keeping me from delegating effectively. Unless you have one heck of a carrot to dangle or a stick to wield (and I most certainly did not) you have to sell someone on the task you’re looking to offload.

So I tried a little change of perspective. I asked myself two things:
1) As I scheduled the time to complete the task each week in my agenda, how could I phrase it so that would be (more) motivating for me to complete?

2) How could I start talking about the task to others in a way that might elicit more interest in taking it over?

I’ve only been doing it for a week now, but simply taking the first step has already made the job SO much easier. And the one chance I had to talk to another person about helping me with it this week was really positive. She wasn’t able to take over the responsibility completely, but she did offer to do some of the legwork, which will help me tremendously.

Just a simple change of perspective has literally helped me lighten my load and made me feel lighter about the job I still have to do. I’d love to hear from you about your challenges to delegate. Do you think this exercise would help you?

Butterfly 3

I’ll leave you with a quote that pretty much sums it up.

“You are the embodiment of the information you choose to accept & act upon. To change your circumstances you need to change your thinking & subsequent actions.” -Adlin Sinclair