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Delegate effectively

What can you achieve by DELEGATING?

You’re up to your eyeballs with work, scrambling to complete projects, catch up with clients, and put out fires…all while trying to keep on top of email and maybe grab some lunch at some point! You work late, get home after dark, and can only think about work as you zone out in front of the television. The next day, your boss calls you up and asks you to take on a new client. As usual, you say yes.

Sound like a familiar story?

Unfortunately, many of us are afraid to ask others for assistance when we’re feeling overwhelmed. We think it shows weakness or a lack of dedication. We’re afraid we will appear incapable, or that it will even affect our chance of promotion.

In most cases, however, the positive aspects of delegation far outweigh the negative aspects. Here’s what happens when you delegate:

1. You prevent burnout

Delegation helps you work at a more sustainable, healthy pace, rather than a frantic pace that will leave you exhausted and unhappy.

2. You achieve better results

Instead of doing a dozen projects with mediocre results (which is definitely not promotion-worthy behavior), you can focus on a couple of projects and achieve quality results.

3. You gain focus

It’s a good idea to delegate tasks to other people that do not fall into your areas of expertise. Instead, focus on the areas in which you excel and continue building your skills in those areas.

4. You create healthy boundaries

If people know you will say yes to any and every project, they will begin taking advantage of you. Draw a line in the sand and either say no (here are a few diplomatic ways to do that) or delegate.

5. You exhibit strong leadership

By pragmatically delegating to others, you demonstrate that you have a clear understanding of your team and what makes them tick. You also show that you trust your co-workers enough to let go of the reins and let them take over an assignment.

 

Of course, it’s a good idea to be thoughtful and tactful when you delegate. Don’t try to shuffle your work off to someone who also has no time or interest. Instead, consider your co-workers’ talents and their availability.

If you are a leader, dole out assignments with care. Explain to each person why you selected him or her for the task at hand. Be sure to let that person know you are available to answer questions or point them toward available resources.

If you are not in a leadership position, your delegation may look a little different. When someone asks you to take on a project, counter by telling them that you have far too much on your plate at the moment and say something like, “Have you considered Rosa? She excelled in a similar project last quarter and I think she has some availability.”

And if things are really out of hand with your current workload, you may want to have a sit-down meeting with your boss and explain your position. Remember: it’s always a good idea to check your co-workers’ availability and interest in a new project before name-dropping them.

Start working smarter. Delegate wisely and open up new possibilities in your career.


MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS®DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

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Margaret Smith Career Coach

I’ve worked with several people over the years who have told me they were hesitant, at first, to seek out a career coach. Some weren’t sure if it was really for them (only people who are desperate need a coach, right?). Others weren’t certain that they would feel comfortable discussing their dreams and fears with a coach. Still others had trouble admitting that they were feeling stuck (I can pull through this on my own!).

It’s true that not everyone needs a career coach. If you’re perfectly happy in your occupation, have a solid 5 year plan, and have your retirement plans all figured out, then you’re probably fine. The majority of us, however, aren’t quite so lucky.

Whether you’re struggling with something specific (a particular project, a troublesome co-worker, or an overbearing or inattentive boss) or a bigger-picture issue (figuring out your career path, working toward a raise or promotion, transitioning into a new career), it’s a good idea to enlist some help.

That’s where a career coach comes in.  Kathy Caprino is a career coach and author of “Breakdown, Breakthrough: The Professional Woman’s Guide to Claiming a Life of Passion, Power, and Purpose.” She says, “You know you need outside help from a career coach when you’re stuck in any phase of the pipeline of bettering your career or changing it.” Exactly. When you’re feeling caught and don’t know how to proceed, it’s best not to slog forward and hope for the best. Have the courage to reach out and contact a professional.

Another piece of great advice comes from career coach Nancy Collamer. She suggests that it’s best to hire a coach before a “kind of bad” situation turns into an all-out tsunami. She says, “I believe that the best time to begin using a career coach is before you need one. I realize that’s not always possible (you could get blindsided by a layoff), but most career issues brew for a long time before boiling over. So it’s best not to wait until you are in full crisis mode before seeking help.”

A good coach resembles a mentor. There are several areas a capable career coach can help with:

  • Defining goals and creating an action plan to achieve them.
  • Job search, résumé, and interview prep
  • Working through significant career transitions
  • Developing confidence, competence, and promotion-worthy skills
  • Building leadership attributes
  • Planning for the next phase of your career (or retirement)
  • Creating a personalized plan for success

If you’re wondering if a career coach is right for you, let’s talk. You might be amazed by what a little guidance can do for your career.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS®DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

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