Ask for Help or Forever Be the Helpmate

Balance wheel of paper clips Tomorrow night, in conjunction with Women in Technology, I am leading a workshop on the "Art of  Delegation", - one the trickiest lessons we women have to learn. Much of the executive coaching for women I do revolves around stress management dealing with work life balance. Many women th take great pride in managing everything from their careers, to their children's schedules, the running of their house, to the maintenance of social relationships single-handedly and without any help. It is almost a badge of honour to say you have no help. However, self-reliance when taken to the extreme of many working women, can cause a sense of isolation that is neither helpful in the home or workplace. How often have you heard  yourself say "it's just easier if I do it myself". Well it may be the first time, but if you invested the time in asking for help and giving guidance on how to do the task, it surely will take less effort on the second and all subsequent occasions.

Men ask for help and don't take it as a sign of personal failure. Before you do the next task "Am I the only one who can do this? Or, "Can I train someone and delegate it?" If you try to do everything yourself, you will never have time to do the things you are actually good at and enjoy doing. For example, I could do my own accounts – but realised early one that it would be far better to employ a specialist who will be more accurate, takes less time and probably saves me money! She loves the nitty-gritty of bookkeeping and sees each spreadsheet as a puzzle and that enthusiasm makes her a great asset to my business, leaving me time to do the things that I actually enjoy like speaking, writing and one to one coaching. What do you want to do more of and what can others do better than you, if you just asked for help?

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  • Esther Haines

    I think inability to delegate is linked to perfectionism – a fear that someone else would not meet our standards.