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Delegate? I Don’t Understand.

“Do you have any projects for the intern?”

‘Scuse me? Why would I have any work to give to the intern? It’s a weird concept to me…maybe it’s because not so long ago, I was the intern. Or maybe because as long as I’ve known, I’ve been the one to take the lead on school projects, work projects and also be the one that does the bulk of the work.

“If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.”

I don’t do well with asking for help. Delegate is a term that really isn’t in my dictionary. It never has been. In fact, I’m usually the one that takes on more work than required.

Maybe it comes from being the youngest one at all of my jobs to date. No, really. Even at my current job, I’m the youngest…only by a few months but still…the youngest. So I do my tasks. I ask others if they need help. It’s the same at home…in fact, it’s probably why I’m the way I am. I could never ask for help for anything because I have been the one that my family depends on for the past 14 years. I made it through school and work without having anyone to depend on so why should I start asking others to help me now?

Oh yeah.

Because I can’t do it all.

Yet it is so hard for me to delegate. I also suck at explaining things to people because I always have my own system of doing things…My own shortcuts and quick-tips, etc that become second nature so it’s hard to explain things. Maybe that’s why my old job hasn’t hired a replacement for me. (Of course, it’s all about me and has nothing to do with the failing economy.)

So, I started this website. I had encouragement from Courtni and a lot of other people but in the end…or the beginning, I did it all. So it cost me $200 because I picked the wrong kind of hosting package/company. So I had a lot of errors and so I went through about 6 different looks before I picked this one. So I struggled with the coding and had to learn by trial & error. So I dived in head first without checking the water’s temp. Every time Courtni or Jaime asked me if they could do something, I said “No. I have to get through doing —- and it should be OK.” because I didn’t know how to ask for help…To ask for help, I’d have to know what I was doing.

Now…I’m learning. Slowly. I’m delegating some of the workload because running a website is hard work. And because my friends do love to help me.

And also because…now I know enough to be able to teach other so they can help me.

Asking for help is still hard for me. Maybe it’s a pride thing. Or it’s programmed. Or I feel that…if I’m using other people as a crutch, do I really accomplish anything at all?

Of course, you have to ask the right people. People that you trust because it’s a wicked world out there with petty people. In the work place, in the blogging world, in school…Find the right people to ask for help when you are ready to delegate.

How good are you with asking for help? Do you delegate? Are you in a position at work where you have people working ‘under’ your supervision? Is it your responsibility to distribute tasks? If it is or you’re just good at delegating, do you have any advice for me?

**On a side note, I’m a pretty sad panda because you guys obviously don’t like my fiction…I’ve been posting Songs of Lily for 3 weeks now and the feedback has been sort of…eh. Just sayin.**

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • pritcharddesign March 16, 2009, 12:24 am

    I know how you feel. It takes practice. I’m just getting to where I am paying other people to do work…mostly because there are things I hate, but they have to get done. But it frees me up to do more work…the kind I like.

  • Cochese March 16, 2009, 3:51 am

    I’m a few years older than you and I still can’t delegate. I hated group projects in college. Partially it’s because I’m a cynical ass who assumes that no one can do anything right. But another part of it is that I hate getting judged harshly because of the actions that someone else took. If I’m going to get a bad grade on something, I want to be the one that deserves the grade. I don’t want to be graded on someone else’s incompetence.

  • +elizabeth+ March 16, 2009, 11:20 am

    As a 10 year manager, I can offer you some advice about delegating that has worked for me. Treat it like you are a teacher, and the people you are delegating to are your students. Take the whole “managerial” / “subordinate” label off of it.

    Delegating is not only good for you, because it frees up your time to accomplish more, but it builds confidence and skills in those you give tasks to. It increases the spirit of teamwork as well. It also lets people know you trust them, which is what I think the underlying issue might be for you (because we seem to have alot in common). You might not trust other people to do what needs to be done, but you have to give them a chance to spread their wings…

  • perpstu March 16, 2009, 11:32 am

    Excuse me, did I write this? It ceertainly sounds like me. I am THE WORST at delegating. I need to learn to not only ask for help but to allow others to do things for me….We’ll work on it together! 😉

  • LiLu March 16, 2009, 1:36 pm

    I am TERRIBLE at delegating. I just don’t trust people to do it as well as I do- it always just seems like it would be easier if I did it all myself, my way.

    Things to work on as I slowly become an (ack!) adult…

  • Jaime March 16, 2009, 2:22 pm

    I’m not in a position in my current job to delegate. In my last job, I had no problem doing it if I could trust my workers but most of the time I took control because when something is my responsibility I feel better doing it myself.

  • Maxie March 16, 2009, 2:47 pm

    I’m bad at delegating because I always end up having to redo stuff. At least I know if I do things myself they’ll get done the way I want them

  • The Pumpernickel March 16, 2009, 4:55 pm

    I unfortunately have the exact same problem. Slowly but surely, I’ve been getting better.

  • MinD March 16, 2009, 6:00 pm

    Damn. I *wish* I had someone to delegate tasks to. However, if I did, who knows if I would. I think I’d feel this bit of responsibility to do my own work to ensure it’s done correctly so I wouldn’t want to pass it along.

    I was HORRIBLE in group projects during my school years – high school and college – because I didn’t trust anyone to do the assignments to the same standards as I would. Sometimes it’s not great being a perfectionist, ha.

  • Ron March 17, 2009, 12:01 am

    BY FAR the biggest thing I have to fix in my work too. I’ve been told to let things go and just set expectations of how good, how fast and how much I get to change stuff.

    It’s a sign of maturity. Kinda like letting go of your kids to go scrape their knees and realizing that they’ll live after that.

    Sorry I’ve been away for a while. Wish there were more hours in a day.


  • topsurf March 17, 2009, 5:44 am

    I have been in several management positions and you have to learn to delegate properly when you are in management. When you learn to do that, you are good as gold. You aren’t admitting defeat or saying you can’t handle something, you are being a good manager.period.

  • Cassie March 17, 2009, 9:43 am

    I sooooo suck at asking for help. I’d much rather do it myself as well. Unless it is something I know I cannot do, then I just help out while the ‘pro’ is doing it! So I’m learning on every project.

  • Teri Michelle March 17, 2009, 12:10 pm

    I don’t delegate very well..perfect example is at home where I do the multitude of the housework load/laundry, even though I have 3 perfectly able-bodied kids. Soon when I start working, I’m going to have to delegate..otherwise nothing will get done and I’ll be spread too thin to care. I’m about to graduate so I dont have any experience with delegating or supervising. But as soon as I do, I’ll holler.. *lol* good luck! xoxo

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