Delegating well as a learned skill

Delegation isn’t an innate skill for me. It’s hard for me to put aside feelings that it shows weakness, or that it’s a sign that I can’t *handle things.*  To complicate it further, I tend to feel that *I* am the one who can do it correctly, or as time has shown more and more often, that it’s the only way to get it done to my specifications.

Working in a state system–especially higher ed, it seems–this latter sentiment is pretty common among high performers (yes, I am giving myself a virtual high five here). I work quickly and efficiently, and rather than take the time to teach someone else to fish, so to speak, it’s faster for me (short term) to just do it.  I know that the task is completed and completed correctly.

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Church of Ron Swanson

But what does this bode for the future? It means I’ve unofficially become the only person who can *do* this.  So anytime it needs to be completed in the future–and truly, it feels more and more menial, and causes more and more disgruntlement–I’ve set myself up be the finite resource.

Knowledge is a commodity, and one that increases rapidly via sharing. By taking the time to train others, knowledge becomes collective, and the community can start to grow and strengthen. New, improved methodologies emerge (because it’s true, processes get better through increased and varied use), and productivity increases when more and more folks can adapt and integrate a task or process into their workstyle.  Collaboration can feel like stepping backwards, but it makes things better, and teaches people to be self sufficient while relying on their own abilities.

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