When I think about how to delegate effectively, I immediately think of Gloria, the treasurer of our community choir. Before concerts she sends out an e-mail asking for volunteers for specific tasks such as greeting people at the door and putting up chairs before the concert. During concert nights, Gloria sits in her chair by the door with a big smile on her face and directs the many volunteers around. She has no qualm about asking for help and receiving it. Gloria is my source of inspiration when it comes to learning how to delegate effectively!
When you learn how to delegate effectively, it frees up time and energy to focus on what you do best and enjoy most. With so much to gain, why is delegation such a struggle for so many of us? Over the years of coaching many clients, I have discovered that our negative beliefs about asking for support are one of the biggest stumbling blocks to learning how to delegate successfully. Here are a couple of the most common beliefs that can get in your way:
“This is so simple; I should be able to do this on my own.”
Most of us feel a sense of shame and embarrassment about needing help with things that we consider easy. While they may be easy for some people, they may be really challenging for others. Take one of my clients, a brilliant scientist who finds it really challenging to accomplish so called simple organizational tasks. Instead of delegating these tasks to his secretary, he kept telling himself “This is so simple, I should be able to do this on my own.” However instead of doing them, the organizational tasks just kept piling up in his inbox. He felt worse and worse about opening his e-mail, until he finally hired me as his life coach. Through life coaching he realized and accepted that while he is brilliant in his research, he really doesn’t have any talent when it comes to “simple” organizational tasks. He now delegates all of these tasks to his secretary as soon as they arrive in his inbox. He now focuses on what he does best and so does his secretary.
“I HATE doing this; I don’t want to burden anyone else with it.”
There may be activities you dread so much that you simply cannot imagine that anyone could enjoy doing them. One of my clients, a creative writer dreads house cleaning. Through coaching she learned to focus on her strengths, the things that she is good at and that energize her. Cleaning isn’t one of them. She decided to get help and hired a cleaning lady. When her maid arrived, she still felt bad for making someone else do the chores she dreaded so much. As she opened the door, she looked into the smiling face of an older woman who declared with a cheerful voice that she loved cleaning and that she was looking forward to make every surface shine in my client’s home. My client had assumed that everyone would hate cleaning just as much as she did and was relieved to see her assumption proven wrong. Whatever it is that you dread, I guarantee that there is someone who loves doing it. Go, find that person, s/he is going to thank you for it!
Take a moment to check in with yourself:
- What is the belief that most often stops you from delegating tasks?
- What might be possible for you if you let go of that belief?
- Please share your discoveries on my blog. Thank you!
Enjoy learning how to delegate effectively!
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