August 2022
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The Leading Edge - Taking Care of Business
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Six Tasks You Should Delegate

 

Six Tasks You Should Delegate

Delegation is often a difficult thing for entrepreneurs to get their heads around. Let’s face it; no one does a specific task better than you, do they? And it takes more time to teach someone to do something than to do it yourself, right? Not only that, almost all jobs are crucial, so they can’t be entrusted to just anyone else—true? These are just a few reasons business leaders kick delegating tasks and projects down the road. But is that wise?

We all know the rationale for delegating tasks; it frees a manager up for more important things, allowing them to prioritize more efficiently. However, there is another significant benefit; it makes you a better, more popular leader. It helps those to whom you delegate learn new skills; it empowers them. As they grow, so does their ability to assist you and take even more things off your plate.

The primary reason people don’t delegate is that they fear the job won’t be done as well as they could do it and that they will have to go back and correct what’s been done. This is a valid concern. However, you can minimize the risk by setting accurate parameters for the task, explaining how it fits into the bigger picture and why it is important, and being clear about the outcome (where possible, provide examples). Choosing the best person to delegate to is also important. And, don’t be afraid to teach them how to do the job. Look at this as a one-time investment of time because once the person knows how to do the task, they can handle the same, or similar, jobs time and time again.

If delegating still makes you nervous, consider the following list of jobs you might hand off to someone else.

  1. Repetitive tasks that require less skill. Maybe you handle your own filing so you always know where everything is and can keep control of the paper flow. Teach someone else exactly how you want your papers and folders filed; it won’t take long, and it’s something else off your to-do list. There are dozens of things we do each day that fall under the “it’s quicker and easier to do this myself” mantra.
  2. Tasks that take a small amount of time are ideal candidates for delegation. We often get fooled into doing these ourselves because, hey, “they only take a minute,” but all those minutes add up. It’s not just the time it takes to do a two-minute job; you have to include distraction time, i.e., the time it took to think about it and stop what you were doing and the time it takes to refocus on the more important task in hand afterward.
  3. Routine tasks. Anything you do regularly could potentially be delegated; if it has to be done more than once, teaching someone to do it will be time well spent.
  4. Delegate easily teachable tasks—this is easy and effective time management.
  5. Tasks that don’t play to your skills. We can’t be good at everything; if you struggle to create an Excel spreadsheet, or format a document, delegate the job.
  6. Finally, delegate tasks that are part of deadline-driven projects. Deadlines are almost always stressful. Step back, look at the project and extract all those tasks that do not need you to touch them and delegate.

One last unexpected benefit from effectively delegating work is that you will see new ways a task can be approached. This in itself can lead to greater efficiency. Never underestimate the power of delegation to help you focus on the critical job of running your company.

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Six Tasks You Should Delegate

 

What Do You Do When You Don’t Like A Client?

Have you ever had the opportunity to bring on board a new client but have doubts because you don’t like them and sense that there might be trouble ahead? This can also happen with a new employee or perhaps a regular customer you duck and hide from whenever they come into your store.

The challenge you face is that if you only ever deal with people that you personally like, your pool of customers or employees can shrink, resulting in lost opportunity and potential revenue. It might be better to figure out a way to better deal with those annoying people.

Figure out why

The first step is to find out what it is about them that ticks you off. Is it their personality, beliefs, or the way they dress? Dig a little deeper. Is it a bias you have? It could even be that you see something in them that you don’t like about yourself. Once you understand where the negative feeling is coming from, it is easier to deal with it.

Get a new perspective

If you have to deal with someone you don’t like, ask a colleague what they think of them. Do it in an inquisitive manner, and do not give away that you have doubts or that you actively dislike them. Let them give you their honest opinion. You may be surprised at how differently they view the person.

Cause a Ripple

Some people give off negative energy, and we simply react accordingly. Often, we don’t even know what it is about them that ticks us off; they just do. Other times we find their behaviour annoying; they could come across as arrogant, self-opinionated, brash, too talkative, too shy, tell bad jokes, or perhaps they continually talk politics making any interaction difficult. In these cases, negative energy begets negative energy.

The critical thing to remember is that not everyone can be just like you. Here’s a trick when you find yourself dealing with someone who annoys you or where there is apparent friction—make a considerable effort to be nice to them. This disturbs the natural flow, causing a ripple in the universe if you like. Shaking things up like this can often change how they react to you and, ultimately, how you perceive them.

Focus on what you have in common

Once you have shaken things up by being pleasant, instead of showing irritation, try to see where you share common ground with the person. Perhaps they follow the same sports team as you, love to travel or dote on their grandkids. It doesn’t matter what it is, but having something safe to talk about that is not contentious will enable you to interact with them socially before getting down to business. If an interaction with them becomes prickly, return to a safe topic. This will allow you to hit the reset button.

Focus on the business at hand

You don’t have to like someone to do business with them or even employ them. In a case where none of the techniques above help the situation, be professional and concentrate on the business at hand. Focus on the benefits they bring as a customer, an employee, a supplier, whatever. If they offer no benefit to you or your company, ask yourself why you are dealing with them?

Figure out what triggers you to dislike someone. Once you know what sets you off, you can recognize those traits and dismiss them as things you can’t change, so you need to accept them. We are not all the same, and realizing that can be the first step to being able to work with people to whom you don’t necessarily relate.

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Six Tasks You Should Delegate

 

Coach's Corner - What are your values?

“Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.”

― José Ortega y Gasset

When you ask yourself, what is the most important thing I need to be doing? Or when you ask, why am I doing this or that? You are asking questions that point to your core values, which align with your work and personal life.

Mission and vision statements result from an exercise to pare down the values and beliefs of an organization; these statements are then promoted to the public. Identifying your core values, mission, and vision helps you see what you stand for—who you are. Core values become a compass that leads you towards your goals.

Ask yourself, what are your core values? What do you stand for? How do those values align with the work you do? At times, it is wise to reflect on those three questions. Whether things are going well or not, it’s always good to step back and ask yourself how your core values play into either good or not-so-good work and life scenarios.

If you enjoy waking up and going to work, your work is satisfying and meaningful to you. Often, when work is pleasurable, you will find yourself in a state of flow where you aren’t aware of the time and are not watching the clock waiting for the day to end. You will not see work as a chore when you align it with your values. Consider how your values contribute to this satisfying state.

On the other hand, if you find yourself unhappy at work and getting up and going to the office feels like a chore, you may be at a point where work lacks joy and is no longer meaningful or satisfying. Ask yourself whether your values or lack of them are contributing to this negative state of affairs. Has there been a shift in your values or those of your workplace? What has changed that may have caused a shift in alignment? 

Values play an essential part in both your personal and work life. It is a worthwhile exercise to take a few minutes to check-in to see how they align with what you do. Are they providing a focus for what you do and why you do it?

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” ― Gandhi

Paul Abra, Motivated Coaching

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