One of the ways we can stay overwhelmed is when we try to keep doing everything ourselves. Even if some tasks only take you a few minutes, those minutes add up! When you have really considered those “desire zone” activities and your “ideal week,” then it’s time to start delegating well. Some of those activities that you are not good at doing nor find enjoyable may be things that are in someone else’s desire zone! Join me this week as I give you three steps to take to practice delegating well.
Determine if it needs to be done at all
Before you begin delegating, assess whether it is an activity that needs to continue. If you are doing something just because it has always been done, now may be a good time to discontinue it. Write down all of the activities that you are doing as a coalition and discuss them with other staff members or leaders. Do all of these activities support the priorities and purpose of the coalition? Are some of these activities things that other organizations or coalitions could be doing? Reflect on which activities are essential to the work of the coalition.
Reflect on possible people
Once you are clear on the activities that still need to be done, review your “desire zone” activities. Consider other people who may really enjoy and are good at activities that are not in your “desire zone.” If you have a very small staff, consider hiring a contractor to help you with some of these activities. If you are connected with a university, consider potential students who may need practical experiences. Students can be particularly helpful when you have activities that you are really good at doing but do not enjoy. Since you are good at doing the activities, you can train them in how to do the activities.
When you delegate, it doesn’t mean you are no longer engaged at all in the activity. You have taken the time to train, coach and guide someone else to do it. You stay connected and communicate with the person you have delegated to but you are no longer actively involved in the details of the activity. One of my favorite leadership models is Situational LeadershipⓇ. Using this model, you can know when you are ready to delegate an activity to someone based on their readiness and ability to do the activity.
One of the reasons we struggle with delegating is that we move too quickly to delegating. When we have not spent time training, coaching and supporting someone enough to be ready for delegation, everyone can become frustrated and confused. Then, we try to “take back” the activity and stay overwhelmed. We must practice delegating. Before we delegate, we have to spend time training, coaching and supporting.
So what about you? Which activities are you going to start delegating?
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If you would like more support in applying this practical action, check out my newest free resource, Escape the Overwhelm Checklist.