Letting go by learning how to delegate. It’s harder than it looks!

So I recently had a situation where I was required to delegate.

Woah, was this harder than expected.

The job in question was something I’d been working on for a while – it hadn’t been able to receive my full attention as it hadn’t yet had the full thrust of any management “This is important” pushed onto me. So it sat in the corner, with me poking it occasionally to see if I could get it do what I wanted it to do, coming across problems and rarely having the time to fix them.

So then I get told there’s a deadline…and I’m going to be away for a fair chunk of the time between now and said deadline.

So I was asked to delegate.

My brain cried in outrage – NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! This is my baby, I’ve wanted it from the beginning, I’ve done the course, I’ve studied the online materials, I’ve spent hours troubleshooting this sodding thing, I don’t want to hand it off. It’s mine, dammit. MINE!

Pretty ugly, no?

Luckily, I didn’t say any of those things out loud. There were other things going through my mind at the time, but as I’m pretty sure some of my work colleagues read this, I’ll keep them to myself because I really don’t feel like having the weight of HR come down upon me for some of the things I’d say. Ahem. Moving on.

So I was asked to delegate. I looked at this as an opportunity for both myself *and* the person I’m being asked to delegate to. It was incredibly hard for me, I’m a control freak and I really do need to learn when to let some things out of my grasp – especially when I have about 4 major projects on my plate at the moment, each one of them as important as the last, and each demanding a fair amount of my time.

So I gritted my teeth.

I did the handover.

And I tried, with all my might, not to stick my nose in when I was *SURE* I knew I could do it myself…

Following on from this, delegating this was probably the best thing that could have happened for this system. Turns out that because I’d been staring at it for so damn long, obvious things didn’t jump out to me. So delegating it meant someone with fresh eyes was getting a chance to look over the system and possibly see what I didn’t. And they did.

I’m better for it. I’ve now learnt that the world doesn’t end if you don’t have your fingers in every. single. pie. This is a really good thing as (I hope) it will mean I’ll be able to delegate more freely in the future and not feel so out-of-control or out-of-touch with the systems I’m supposed to be in charge of. It also means that I’m not trying to do everything all at once. And it also means that I realise I’m not the be-all-and-end-all. I miss things. I make mistakes. Someone else can see the things I miss, can fix the things I break.

Just another learning experience that showed that we work far better as a team than we do as separate individuals.

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