5 Steps to Effective Delegation

Dear Readers,

Hope my article finds you well!

For the last couple of months, I have been pondering on what qualities are responsible for the success in high achievers. Recently I have been looking into time management. We all have 24 hrs in a day so it makes logical sense that people of high success must be either sleeping less or making the most out of their time. During this research I was also given a task by a peer. The first thing I did after analysing it was to delegate it to someone else with better knowledge than me on the subject. I then looked after the logistics. Suddenly it hit me on the head like a hammer on a perfectly placed nail! The light bulb was on! I had the answer I was looking for just under my nose – Delegation!

Has this ever happen to you ? You look so hard for something, time passes … hours turn into days and you still can’t see what is right there under your nose!?

It is a frustrating experience, isn’t it? Some of you might agree with me.

This article has the aim to provide some practical tips on how we can delegate to not only free up more of our time but to also do it in an effective way. We need to ensure that our expectations are met and successful results are achieved at all times.

Here are 5 steps to delegating and supervising that I have used with great success for many years.

Step 1: Clarity of results

You need to become perfectly clear about the results that you desire from the job. The greater clarity you have with regards to the results expected, the easier it is for you to select the right person for the job. Is sounds easy and simple, may be too easy? That’s just it. It’s so easy that most people forget the basics. Let’s think about this in terms of employing someone, you need to select the right person for the job. As a result you need to be perfectly clear about what the job entails, i.e. a job description with the desired results to be achieved.

Step 2: Desired Skills and Ability Demonstrated

You need to select a person based on his or her demonstrated ability or success at doing the requested job. Never delegate an important job to a person who has never done it before. If the successful completion of the task is important to the success of your business, it is essential that you delegate it to someone who you confidently believe can complete the task to a satisfactory level. Going back to the recruitment of the right person, would you really want to recruit someone for the job they have no experience in? Obviously, you wouldn’t. It works the same for delegation.

Step 3: Clear communication of the task and the desired results

You need to explain to the person exactly what you want done, the results that you expect, the time schedule that you require, and your preferred method of working. The reason that you are in a position to delegate a task is because you have acknowledge that the person has more experience and knowledge than you and most probably more time than you do. Taking the time to explain the task and desired result is the best way to ensure that it will be done to your level of expectation and completed on schedule. Communication is very important if you want to ensure that misunderstandings are kept to the minimum. This will also guarantee the best results.

Step 4: Monitor Progress

You need to set up a schedule for reporting on progress. If it is an important task, set up a deadline for completion that is a day or a week before your actual deadline. Do not leave anything to chance. Always build some slack into the system. Then, check on the progress of the task regularly, very much like a doctor would check on the condition of a critical care patient. This is one of the most important steps to ensure that the task has been fulfilled according to our expectation and deadline. Therefore take time to ensure that you monitor the progress of the task with the person you assign it with to guarantee the desired results.

Step 5: Accountability

You need to inspect what you expect. Delegation is not abdication. Just because you have assigned a task to another person does not mean that you are no longer accountable. In addition to this the more important the task, the more essential it is that you keep on top of it. So even if you have delegated the task to someone else, you are still accountable for the results and for the fulfilment of the task.

Now that you have read this, you have realised that planning, selection, monitoring and accountability are the keys to effective delegation. As such, ensure that every step discussed in this chapter is accurately planned by yourself to avoid disappointment to both parties.

Please answer the following questions to move forward to becoming a more effective delegator!

Exercise: 5 Steps to effective Delegation
Answer the following questions:

1. Which of the 5 steps will you firstly address to become an effective delegator?

2.  What task can you effectively delegate to someone else now?

3.  Which one of your employees/acquaintances/friends can handle the task more efficiently?

4.  How are you measuring your progress in achieving your goal as a delegator?

I hope you now have discovered your strengths in delegation and also developed self-awareness for the best people to delegate tasks to!

Experience Tip 1: If you found synergy with certain people who have consistently delivered, keep a record in a notebook. Write down the person’s name and the task that they delivered, this will make delegation a more efficient process in the future! :-)

Experience Tip 2: Don’t feel guilty about delegating tasks to people. You will soon find that you end up with a much greater capacity to give back. Likewise be happy to help other people out unconditionally. You will see the rewards pouring back to you, it’s quite remarkable!

Remember that no one is perfect so don’t feel that you have to get this right the first time. You might have made a mess of it this time round and immediately thought that it would be easier and faster to do it yourself! I had the same thoughts and I was wrong! It will take time to be an effective delegator but it will be well worth it, believe me! I took years to understand the power of delegation and the steps to be an effective delegator. Now I am enjoying the delegation process. Something surprising I found by learning to be a great delegator is that we are surrounded by so many talented people who are looking forward to putting their skills to good uses and causes!

To your effective delegation journey!

Viv :-)

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Becoming Unstoppable Part 2

A warm greetings to all my readers,

 

I hope you have been enjoying great success in improving your confidence from the techniques I have discussed in last week’s article,Becoming Unstoppable.

As promised, today I will finish off with three more techniques that will add some extra wallop to your journey. Enjoy!

 

3. Prepare.

 

“One important key to success is confidence. An important key to confidence is preparation.”  ~ Arthur Ashe

 

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

 

Have you ever experienced the situation where you are undertaking something new and noticed how you very quickly get lost in thoughts and actions? You start building ‘if’ scenarios in your mind of what may happen.

Definitely, preparing and educating ourselves can be a big help in making a huge difference in our confidence levels but we need to take the time to prepare ourselves. Obviously, this is more work than not doing anything about it. For example by rehearsing and rewriting our speech over and over we can learn it by heart. By doing research we can find breathing techniques that can quickly make us calmer and more confident as we deliver our speech.

Preparation is the key to feeling more comfortable and confident. Just don’t make the mistake of getting stuck in the preparation phase and using it as a way to avoid taking action and the possible pain that it may lead to.

4. Take action.

 

“Nothing builds self-esteem and confidence like accomplishment.” ~ Thomas Carlyle

 

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” ~ Dale Carnegie

 

We need to take action which is the most important step in building our confidence levels. Good ideas and good intentions without implementation are useless! We need to work on something and get it done. Sitting at home and thinking about it will just make us feel worse. Simple but not always easy to do! I will agree with you but there are ways to make it easier to take actions:

  • You really really want it! Our Why is so BIG that taking action becomes second nature, we can’t wait to do it!
  • Be present! It will help us to go and do whatever we need to get done without over analysing it. It puts us in a state where we feel little emotional resistance to the work we’ll do. Additionally the right actions often just seem to flow out of us in a focused but relaxed way without much effort. One of the simplest ways to connect with the present moment is just to keep our focus on our breathing for a minute or two.

5. Realise that failure or being wrong will not harm you.

 

“Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” ~ Peter T. Mcintyre

 

“I quit being afraid when my first venture failed and the sky didn’t fall down.” ~ Allen H. Neuharth

The message is clear: we have to face your fear. Failure won’t harm or kill anybody. Nor will being wrong. The sky will not fall down on us. That’s just what people that haven’t faced their fear yet think.

The secret is to reframe failure from being something that makes your legs shake to something useful and important for the growth of our confidence and our overall growth as a human being.

Here are four ways that failure can help us out:

  • We gain access to experiences we could not get any other way.Ideally, we prefer to learn from other people’s mistakes and failures. That’s not always the easy way. Sometimes we just have to fail on our own to learn a lesson and to gain an experience no one can relate to us in mere words.

 

  • We become stronger. ‘What does not kill us, makes us stronger!’ Every time we fail we become more accustomed to it. We realise more and more that it’s not the end of the world. We get desensitised. We can handle things that would have been very hard to deal with a few years back. Failing can also a have an exhilarating component because even though we failed we at least took a chance. We didn’t just sit on our hands doing nothing. This certainly would take quite a bit of courage and determination.

 

  • You learn. Instead of seeing failure with a negative connotation, we can view it more as a learning experience. When standing in the middle of a failure, we can ask ourselves questions like: What’s positive about this situation? What can I learn from this situation? How can I get the best out of this situation?
  • Your chances of succeeding increases. Every time we fail, we can learn and increase our inner strength. So every failure can make us more and more likely to succeed.

As I mentioned in last week’s article, the world doesn’t revolve around you. While we might like to think so, the reality is different. People really don’t care that much about what we do. Everyone has their own life, problems and worries. They don’t think that much about us or are constantly monitoring what we do wrong or when we fail. Maybe you might be disappointed about this discovery but it should be a liberating thought. Now we have the license to make mistakes and we can let go of that worry that everyone is watching us.

Without a shadow of a doubt, it takes courage and determination to move forward in our life to achieve our goals/plans. To do so we need to acquire the confidence necessary to make our path as smooth as possible! So welcome any mistakes from now on and more importantly learn the lessons that come with them to boost your confidence levels!

I hope you find something useful in this article to help you improve and maintain your own levels of confidence.

To your ultimate success,

Viv :-)

Becoming Unstoppable!

To all my readers,

Today I’m going to discuss a subject I love talking about. Why? Throughout my coaching experience I have noticed this is usually the commonality skill that is lacking in aspiring successful people. Have you guessed it yet? I’ll give you a little tip, answer the following questions:

Have you ever been afraid to ask for that raise you very much deserve and have worked hard for?

Have you ever wanted to speak up about something important but bit your tongue instead because of lack of self confidence?

Have you ever seen someone you fancied but didn’t ask her/him out for a date?

Got it now? I am sure you have, yes it is CONFIDENCE!

“Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy.” ~ Brian Tracy

As you will already know the majority of successful people have incredible levels of confidence. They’ve accomplished great amounts of success and happiness in their lives and seem to be unstoppable in everything they do.

But, what about you?

I am sure you will agree that everybody could do with a bit more confidence in one or more aspects of their lives, whether it’s at school, at work, in a relationship or with meeting new people. If you want complete and well-rounded success, you have to have boatloads of confidence.

What does it mean to be confident?

To start with, we need to understand what we mean by confidence as it will allow us to verify whether we are confident people. The dictionary.com defines it as “beliefs in oneself and one’s power and abilities”…

Confidence is the difference between feeling unstoppable and scared out of our comfort zone.

Ok it is clear there are many benefits, how exactly can we become more confident?

Many of the factors that affect confidence are actually beyond our control. What I have covered in this article are some of the key methods that we can consciously employ to build our confidence. In doing this we can get the mental edge we need to reach our full potential.

“Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.” ~ Stan Smith

Even if we’re reasonably assured most of the time, it is beneficial to do a little mental strengthening check up every now and then. It feels good to be confident, which in turn perpetuates further confidence, impresses people and brings you success.

How can we learn to be more confident?

You may be familiar with what confident friends may say to us: ‘Well, just be confident, man!’. However, to a person that doesn’t feel that confident, this piece of advice may not be very helpful at all. You know what I am talking about, don’t you?

Fortunately there are some tried and tested methods, some of which I will explore upon in this article.

I hold the subject of confidence particularly close to my heart as it is something I have always struggled with. People that may know me will find this statement very bizarre as I look like a very confident person, the reality is that I have learned to manage my feelings very well. The following methods have certainly worked for me so here you go!

 

1. Get to know who we are and what we want out of life.

“The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.” ~ Napoleon Hill

 

“Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind, you’ll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.” ~ Douglas Bader

I think by now, you are familiar with this concept from my other articles. I have always stressed the importance of knowing who you are and what you really want out of our life as it will boost your confidence level. If you have not done so yet, please complete your SWOT analysis and concentrate your efforts on your strengths to maximise your talents.

When you know more about whom we are and what we want out of life, other people will see us as a confident person. This in turn will develop greater confidence in ourselves and what we can achieve.

What other people say or think will have less of an impact than it used to because we know who we are better than they do. Since we have taken time to really get to know and stretch ourselves, we will trust our own opinion and ability more than anything outside of us. We will become stable and centred in ourselves only! This will of course take time. It may be something that never really ends. So we might as well get started now.

 

2. Face your fears

“The way to develop confidence is to do the thing you fear.” ~ William Jennings Bryan

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Frankly speaking, if we don’t face our fears we won’t experience any boost in our level of confidence. Sorry guys, there is no way around it.

Are there ways that we can face our fear without too much shaking of our knees?

Guess? Yes, there are. It is all about our mindset, the way that we think, our thought process! If we change this, we can face fears in a more positive way. For example, when we are stuck in fear we are in a closed up mindset. We tend to create division in our world and mind. We create barriers between us and other things such as people. When we shift to being curious our perceptions go SWOOSH! and the world just opens up. Curiosity is filled with anticipation and enthusiasm. It opens us up. When we are open and enthusiastic then we have more fun things to think about than focusing on our fears.

How do we become more curious? 

One way is to remember how life has become more fun in the past thanks to our curiosity and to remember all the cool things it helped us to discover and experience.

Another helpful way to face fear is to realise that fear is often based on unsupportive interpretation. As humans we like to look for patterns. The problem is that we often find negative and not so helpful patterns in our lives based on just one or two experiences. When we get too involved with these thoughts we’ll believe anything they tell us. A more supportive practise may be to not take our thoughts too seriously. A lot of the time they and our memory can very much be inaccurate.

What’s really funny about this emotion is that after having done whatever we fear a few to a dozen times we usually think: “Is that it?” We almost feel disappointed of how anticlimactic it has become. We may even get a bit angry with ourselves and wonder why we avoided doing it for so long.

Face some of your fears. Fail over and over and understand that it isn’t really that big of a deal. Grow stronger through such experiences and also become more internally relaxed.

 

Are you ready to “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”? ~ Susan Jeffers

Now that you have read this you know how you can become an unstoppable force. Furthermore you also have two very powerful methods of improving your confidence levels. Please take the time to go over these techniques and look at where you can apply them in your life. I am certain you will see noticeable benefits in the weeks to come. In next week’s article I will be revealing an additional set of methods that will add further clout to your self-development journey.

One last message I would like to end on is that as much as we want to believe it the world doesn’t revolve around us. No one really cares what we are doing, so whether we succeed or fail we are probably the only person to know. So what if you fell off your bike 10 years ago right? The point is you now have the confidence to ride every day, if you so desired. Think of this example when facing challenges in your life, who cares if we fail now just keep going till it works.

To building your confidence,

Viv :-)

Your Circle of Influence: How does it affect your life?

A very warm greetings to all my readers,

Today’s article is connected to the one I wrote last week, so if you didn’t get the chance to read it, I would suggest you do so now.

I hope you had a chance to respond to last week’s questions as they will help you immensely in your personal growth!

How does our circle of influence affect our life?

We have to acknowledge that some people are born automatically in our lives. Some come through marriages. Geography also plays a role.  Where you work and what you do for a living is a factor.  Even friendships develop through circumstances.  Throughout our lives we end up meeting so many people both personally and professionally. Some people you will only ever know casually while others you will take the time to build relationships with and as a result go on to become trusted allies. It’s those trusted allies you align with that form your ‘Circle of Influence’. Usually those you choose to align with will share common values and similarities or simply compliment your strengths and weaknesses. They will also have no competing interests and represent a synergistic benefit to both parties through an ongoing relationship. Some are negative, others simply neutral and the rest often bless us with enrichment that positively impacts our lives.

So take a moment to think about this question:

Who is already in your circle and who else would you need or like to include?

Before you say you don’t have one … you do! Big or small, everyone has a ‘Circle of Influence’.

Who are the five or ten people you associate with the most?

Check in with your own life. Write their names down and list them under one of the following categories.  Note that depending on the circumstances they might sit in any one of these groups so think about the one that represents them most of the time.

Here the three different categories of people who influence our life:

1. ‘Drainers’ – People who deplete or drain your energy.  They complain, whine, criticise, blame, use sarcasm, condemn, gossip and otherwise focus on the bleaker view of life.  They are pessimistic.  When you spend time with them, you notice the heaviness of their presence, and instantly feel better when you walk away.  These people may be coming to you with their stories and challenges, seeking your support and input. These people aren’t about bringing you joy and happiness, or adding anything but a dark perspective on life.

I personally like to limit my time with people who fall in this category.  However, these people are great mirrors for embracing your shadow or dark side.  While you may consciously choose to limit your time with them, learning to love them unconditionally is often the greater gift with these individuals.

2. ‘Comforters’ – People are likely your friends, peers or possibly family members.  They are a lot like you, and share similar values and interests.  You enjoy being with them, and feel better by being around them.   We all love having people in our lives that bring comfort, acknowledgment, sharing and understanding.

The pitfall or trap to beware of here is the word “comfort”.  This group is likely to keep you anchored to bad habits, disempowering stories and limiting beliefs that may hold you back. Part of how you relate with each other may be through sharing similar problems and challenges.  The relationship may feel less engaging without a challenge to discuss or solve, so problems continue to emerge and cycle. If one of you leaps too far ahead, the relationship may be threatened.  While you may share dreams and goals with each other, there is a tendency to stay “comfortable” with no one moving too far ahead.  Keeping the status quo is the name of the game.

From personal experience I noticed through spending time with this category of people, I became more aware of how to relate and share problems. I realised that I have to focus more on sharing what we desire and appreciate in life.

3. ‘Empowerers’ – These are people who may also be your friends, but there is a distinct difference as their impact challenges you beyond your “comfort zone”.  This group may include mentors, authors, leaders, business associates or those deemed wildly successful.  This group sets the example of what you aspire to emulate.  They may have a life that you admire, respect or are striving for. They are an example of possibility to you.  They inspire, empower, lead and challenge you to grow.  They may believe more in you than you do in yourself, and encourage you to live life to your highest potential.  These people aren’t always the “easiest” to be around because their nature demands the best from you. While challenging, these relationships fulfil the need you have to evolve, which in turn accelerates growth, success and accomplishment Their presence is so potent, that even short time periods are often very influential.

This is the type of people I am surrounded with. Consciously seek out more of these individuals out and spend time with them.  Ask them questionsPay attention to their habits, values, beliefs and state of being.  See yourself as their peer.  Look for ways that you can contribute value to them. Be aware that it will not be easy to be around them as they will stretch you out of your comfort zone in any given time and opportunity. Are you ready for the challenge?

 

Now take a pause for self-reflection and ask yourself the following questions:

How do the people around you play a part in your success?

Do they support and motivate you to succeed? Or is it the opposite?

Are the people around you unsupportive and do not positively contribute to your success at all?

These are all questions that we must ask ourselves from time to time. Our Circle of Influence, the closest people to us, play an important role in our level of success or lack of it. We often assume that if we, as an individual, possess enough drive and motivation that we can achieve anything. Part of this is true, however, having supportive and driven people around you will only increase your chances.

 

Our next step is to write down the 5-10 people you admire, respect and value most.  If your list is short, you may want to commit to expanding your circle of influence and “upgrading” as I did years ago.

It all begins by simply being aware of how people are positively, negatively or neutrally affecting you.  This is enough to allow you to make new conscious choices.

While I’ve continue to expand my associations through the years, I periodically check in with this effective exercise.  I am also quick to notice the Drainers in my life. Through the past years, I am wildly blessed with an abundance of associations and friends that I truly admire and respect.  In recent years, spending time with all of the people I enjoy is the greater challenge.  But wouldn’t that be a problem we would all love to face?

Remember that you should also differentiate your circle of influence into 3 types: friends, associates and role models/mentors. The first, your friends are the ones that are closest to your heart. It should be small and include people I call your flat tire friends, people who will show up in the middle of the night if your tire went down. The second, your associates are people that you know and you spend time with such as co-workers, bosses, friends of friends, etc. The third one is one of the most important as these are the people that inspire and motivate you to success!

I personally took inventory in my own life and wrote down the names of the individuals I was spending the most time with.  Then, I asked the hard question:

“What are the people in my life doing to me?”

Remember, people can only pull you up, down or keep you neutral in your comfort zone. It will not be easy as some people are really close to your heart and you deeply love them. You have to make an objective decision on what category to place them…it will be very difficult but please be honest with yourself as your future could depend on the choices that you are going to make with choosing your circle of influence!

For me back then, I also made a list of 10 people that I would like to spend more time with, and made the conscious decision to do this with individuals I admired, respected and wanted to be most like.  Simultaneously, I limited my time with those who weren’t really adding much to my life and as I mentioned in my previous article, I still give them opportunities to step up the ladder to success if they are willing to do what it takes to discover their potential and talents and to use it to their fullest!

As I have done along with most other successful people, if your desire is to fulfil your greatest potential and live your vision, you have to BE WILLING TO MAKE SOME CHANGES. That will most definitely consist of consciously choosing your circle of influence.

You may experience some discomfort or feel some fear but ultimately you will find you are able to break the cycle of negative influences and boost your own self-confidence!

Be accountable for who you are and what you are doing on a daily basis. If you want to change the course of your life, You have the power and the resources to do so…..and the beginning of that is to change your thoughts …… and choose your circle of influence!

By surrounding myself with people who were more talented than me I was able to achieve bigger and better results. The same is with success in any area of your life. If you continue to surround yourself with people who believe in attaining average results, then that is what you will achieve as well. Look to build friendships with people who think like you do and watch as the results blossom.

Make the decision that TODAY will be the start of your new beginning…for yourself. Stop allowing others to be the reflection of you.

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” – this is a famous quote by Reinhold Niebuhr. Hidden within lies an important secret. This is…that we can control our future and our success by consciously choosing and focusing on our circle of influence.

Remember that your circle of influence will either be a means of helping you achieve success or an obstacle holding you back from it. It’s up to you to determine which it will be.

I want to thank my dear bro for allowing me to have some food for thoughts about my circle of influence and to have a better clarity on our relationship! Thank you! :-)

He actually wrote an article on circle of influence a while back, why do you not check it out and see this subject from another perspective? Here the link to my friend’s blog: http://springboardyourself.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/circle-of-influence/

To your consciously wise choice of your circle of influence!

Viv :-)