Want Something Done … Just Do It Yourself?

Do you ever ask someone to do something for you and get let down?  How about giving an order to a staff member and you get “push back” from the person and are told it can’t be done?  Do you ever just throw up your hands in despair and walk away and just do it yourself?  Yikes!

The Fine Art of Delegation

Successful executives have various successful techniques that handle or keep the above situations from happening.

Today, I actually was the one doing the “push back.”  (This is a confession to illustrate the point,) I am on a committee and we have an event this Friday night and someone very important needs to be celebrated and given a bouquet of 100 roses.  The person in charge of the event called me to do this (2 days notice) and I resisted.  Then I tried for a little bit to do it and ran into “it can’t be done” from florists so I texted him back and told him it was impossible.  He texted back that he really needed me to take responsibility for it or he would have to find someone else to do it and he really didn’t have time to do that.  This repeat of the order made me get back onto the search and we finally accomplished it.  If he had just given in to my first “push back,” he would indeed have had to find someone else to do it or it might not have gotten done at all.

When Giving Orders

So here are the lessons:

  1. Be firm and positive when giving an order. Be very clear and be sure the person being ordered actually completely understands what you want done and by when and for what reason.
  1. If you get resistance or “push back,” repeat the order with firmness and positiveness that it CAN be done.
  1. If it doesn’t get done exactly as required and asked for, repeat the order and ask that it get done exactly the way you need it.
  1. Do not break down and do it yourself except as a very last resort (and only if there are dire consequences if it doesn’t get done). It is too easy to just give in to “push back” and to just do it yourself. But each time you do that, you lessen yourself and the person who you gave the order to in the first place.  And it will become a pattern.  And you will become a martyr about it: “If you want something done, you just have to do it yourself.”

So don’t fall for it.  Be strong and caring enough to actually give the other person strength by pushing them though their barriers to accomplishment. They will have a good win on doing it and will be the stronger for it.  And you will too.


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