Give It Up !!

As you head into work this week, how does your plate look? I’m sure it’s full. I’d be surprised if it’s not. Knowing that’s the case, how are you going to start the day? Are you going to pull your big boy/big girl boots on and jump into the fray? You probably will and it will have limited success. It will probably lead to frustration and a feeling that you’re never getting ahead.

I’m not being critical because you may have things all together. I’m not one of those folks. I get distracted often. The distractions are a mix of what is natural in HR by being pulled in several directions at the same time, and the reality is that I can follow a shiny object if it gets into my field of vision. I think it’s important to be reflective and honest about how you’re wired. However, I don’t think it should be an excuse for being effective in your role.

I recently attended a great training class at work on Planning. The reason that it rocked was that it wasn’t about “method,” it was about components. I have struggled with the idea of planning my entire career because it has always been presented to me as a series of must do steps and endless to do lists. This training broke things down into components that emphasized focusing on the “big rocks” in front of you and work from there.

DelegateInterestingly enough, one of the tools that helped you keep your eyes on the big rocks was delegation.

Ah . . . the D word !! We espouse that it’s necessary, but we struggle to do it with any sort of consistency. There are many reasons for this that are myths, and it’s time we faced why we choose not to delegate.

Loss of Control – We’re control freaks, especially if you work in HR. We are so protective of what we do. Some of that “close to the vest” approach is needed, but we are way too overprotective. We make the assumption that others can’t handle certain aspects of HR because of confidentiality. The problem is that even though that may be the case on some issues, our profession is so broad that there is a ton that we can give to others. We need to quit thinking that HR is a cloak and dagger job.

They won’t do it “right” – Yikes !! This is said many times a day in the workplace. We state we won’t delegate because we know others won’t do it the way we do. There are so many things wrong with this outlook. First of all, you are assuming that others will underperform because we do it so well. Who gets to judge that? Secondly, we assume that when people do things differently than we do, then it’s wrong. If you take away anything from this post, please remember this HR !!

Different isn’t wrong – it’s just different.

How can we claim to value diversity in our organizations if we think that doing things in alternative ways is wrong? Seriously. Examine this because if you allow this thought and behavior, you can guarantee that you aren’t genuinely diverse. Diversity is a strength and delegation would show you that it is.

We’re afraid – Whenever you give something up, there is a feeling of uncertainty. You can’t shake this. It will happen every time you delegate. However, you can reduce this anxiety if you give expectations and clarity to others when you delegate. That doesn’t mean that you do 90% of the work and then “allow” someone to finish the last 10%. Practice makes perfect with delegation. Keep doing it regularly and you’ll be more comfortable with it over time.

It was great to learn the power of delegation and how it relates to planning. I wanted to add one more perspective to this. Delegation is a powerful way to develop your staff. Giving them projects and tasks allows them to stretch, grow and perform.

So, this week change your view and start emptying your plate. Take a breath, calm your nerves and take a step to give it up !!

3 thoughts on “Give It Up !!”

  1. Delegating involves a loss of control. If you have too much to do and delegate things to someone else, then you have to accept that they won’t do it the same way you do, and many people absolutely cannot accept that!

    At the same time, the higher you get in the food chain, the more you HAVE to delegate. A good leader makes sure that s/he has good people to whom to delegate. Then s/he gets out of their way!

  2. By not delegating, we deprive others the opportunity to grow. When I’m out of the office, I don’t call in to check on how things are going – my team knows how to handle things.

  3. If you train your staff properly, then you can delegate and maintain the confidence that the job will be done correctly. Without proper training you’re just fooling yourself; often someone will have to go around a second time and do the job again.

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