Episode 53: How to Delegate – Part One: Common Mistakes

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | How to Delegate - Part One: Common Mistakes

The topic of delegation has been coming up frequently in my coaching sessions. My clients have been recognizing how not effectively delegating (or not delegating at all) has been creating additional issues for them, and we’ve been discussing some of the problems they’re encountering as they practice this skill.

In order to dial down your stress levels and reduce your workload, the skill of delegating is extremely relevant. Learning how to delegate, give out clear instructions, and problem-solve with other people is your next step of growth. So this week, I’m offering the top mistakes to avoid to master effective delegation.

Join me this week to discover 12 specific mistakes I see most commonly when it comes to delegating and what to do instead, so you can free yourself up to do your most meaningful work in the world. And make sure to tune back in next week where I’ll walk you through my best practices guide for effective and efficient delegation.

Early Enrollment for the next round of The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind opens May 12th, 2023, with the next live event running from August 23rd through 26th 2023. Spots are limited, so if you don’t want to miss out, I highly recommend you sign up for the waitlist here!

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • 12 common mistakes I see people making when it comes to delegating. 
  • What you need to let go of to delegate effectively.
  • How to assess what you could be delegating. 
  • The importance of focusing on your long-term goals, rather than short-term results.
  • How to be thoughtful and clear about the instructions you give out.
  • Why making assumptions as you delegate is never helpful.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • I would really appreciate it if you would leave a rating and review to let me know and help others find The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to follow, rate, and review
  • If you want more information about the Less Stressed Lawyer mastermind, visit my LinkedIn, my Instagram, or email me!
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Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 53. Today, we’re talking all about how to delegate and the common mistakes to avoid when you’re doing it. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Well, hello there. How are you? I hope your week is going well. Mine is off to an amazing start. Got a few things that I’m excited about today. And I’m going to share with you before I dive into today’s episode. So, number one, I am getting ready to go up north with two of my dearest friends Halston and Alex. Alex is actually my videographer.

So, if you were in the first round of the mastermind, you already know him. But they are married, and they have a place of north in northern Michigan. I get to go up with them a couple times a year. And I’m getting ready to go up on Thursday night. So, I’m really looking forward to that.

We do a ton of cooking. I love a good jigsaw puzzle, so we get to do jigsaw puzzles together and play board games and I read books; Halston likes to read, too. So, we do that. We have a champagne toast every evening at 7pm where we savor champagne on the deck. I’ve taught all of my friends how to do that. So, it’s just a really fun, relaxing time.

I have been clipping along at a pretty good pace between going to Cabo for my business mastermind with my coach, then being in Charleston for The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind. And then coming back and hitting the ground running with work, and then being in Miami. And then getting a lot of details sorted out for the next live event of The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind in August. Which is what I’ve been up to all March. I have been clipping along, so I’m really excited for a relaxing weekend.

I hope you all have something that you’re looking forward to that brings you a little bit of relaxation and rejuvenation. I can’t wait to drive up north. I love driving in the car. I have a call scheduled with one of my dearest coaching friends for my ride up there. I’m just really looking forward to it. So, I hope you’re in the same boat as me and you’re really looking forward to something too.

The second thing that I wanted to share with you is I finally finalized the venue and location for the next round of The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind, specifically the live event that we are going to do August 23 through the 26 later this year, in 2023. So, if you’ve been anxiously awaiting the announcement for where we’re going, and how amazing it’s going to be, prepare yourself. I need a drumroll here: We are going to Big Sky, Montana. I know! I cannot even wait.

I think lawyers need a little outdoors action, and what more could you ask for when it comes to being outdoorsy than being in Big Sky, Montana. We are staying at the most phenomenal resort. I got an insane discount on it. We’re staying at the Montage Resort in Big Sky. And if you’ve ever stayed at a Montage property, let me tell you, they’re incredible, and you already know that. And if you haven’t, you are in for an absolute treat.

I got an insane discount for our group. So, you’re going to get to enjoy five-star resort luxury for a fraction of the price, if you join The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind, the next cohort of it. So, if you like to be outdoors, or you think you’d like to be outdoors, but you don’t get to spend enough time outdoors, you’re in luck. We’re going to be in the clean Montana air come August. I can’t wait. The event is going to be spectacular.

The location is amazing. The weather will be beautiful. The venue is just next level. It’s a brand-new hotel. So, everything’s going to be in tip-top shape, it’s really going to blow your mind. So, make sure you head to my website, TheLessStressedLawyer.com/mastermind, and get your name on the waitlist. That’s going to allow you to enroll as soon as enrollment opens, on May 12. You have to be on the waitlist in order to enroll the first weekend enrollment opens, so make sure you go and do that. All right?

Now, let’s dive into today’s topic. We’re talking about delegation, and I want to talk about delegation in two parts. So, this is going to be a two-part episode. Today, we’re talking all about the common mistakes that I see people make when it comes to delegating. And then in the next episode, I’m going to walk you through a very specific process that I want you to follow in order to delegate. It’s like a best practice guide for delegation.

I’m really excited to talk about today’s topic. Because this has been coming up a ton in my coaching sessions lately, both in the mastermind and in my one-on-one work with my clients that I work with in that capacity. We’ve been talking frequently about delegating, and where they get hung up. The problems that they encounter when it comes to delegating. Them recognizing that they’re creating issues for themselves because they’re not delegating effectively, or they’re not doing it at all.

So, I’m super excited to cover this topic. I think it’s going to really make a difference for you. It’s very relevant in order to dial down your stress levels, reduce your workloads; not immediately, and I’m going to talk about that today. But over the course of some time, as you get better and better and better at delegating, it’s going to make your life a lot easier and free you up to do your most meaningful work.

So, let’s dive in. I’m going to talk to you about the 12 specific mistakes that I see people make. So, as you know, if you’ve listened to episodes before, I typically always start by going in and talking about the mindset you need to have in order to take a particular action and take it intentionally and effectively. But for the sake of time, because I don’t want this episode to turn into like a two-hour long episode, I’m going to go through the 12 mistakes today. A lot of the 12 mistakes are mindset mistakes.

And then, in the next episode, before I get into the process that you need to follow in order to delegate, I’ll go through the mindset that you need to cultivate in order to do it effectively. Okay? So, without further ado, let’s talk about mistake number one.

Now, mistake number one is when you think, “If I want to get it done right, I have to do it myself.” It’s a very common thought that people think when it comes to delegating. Now, the underlying issue here is that you’re also expecting people to do it as good as you would do it.

And I always start by explaining to my clients, that you have to give up that requirement. All right? A lot of people won’t do it as well as you can do it. But that’s not a reason to not delegate the task. If someone can do something 80% as good as you can do it, that is an appropriate task to delegate. And it is okay for them to do it only 80% as well.

And your work is to stomach the discomfort that comes from it not being “perfect” or not as good as it would be if you had done it. The other thing that I really want to talk about here is, instead of thinking, “If I want it done right, I have to do it myself,” that is a short-sighted way to look at delegation.

And it also fails to recognize that part of your growth as a manager, as a supervisor, is learning how to delegate, be comfortable with the discomfort, and helping people slowly but surely improve. So, instead of thinking this thought, I like to teach people to think that new levels bring new devils, and that this is your next step of growth. Okay?

Learning how to delegate, learning how to give out instructions, and problem-solve with people if you don’t get back what you want from them. Figuring out what needs to change in order for the work product to be closer to what you envisioned. So, this is where your work is if you’ve got this mindset.

Mistake number two is telling yourself, “I don’t know what to delegate.” This is super common, because our brains love to keep us maintaining the status quo, in our comfort zones, by throwing up ‘I don’t know’. They see if it will stick to the wall. So, instead of thinking, “I don’t know what to delegate,” I want you to slow yourself down and come up with a strategy in order to figure out what to delegate.

So, every week, I want you to do an audit. Assess each week: What did I do that I could have delegated? And I actually give this instruction to people. If you had to go through your week, the past week, and cut out half of the work you did and delegate it, what portions would you cut? What tasks would you delegate to someone?

Because, typically, what people do is they go in with like tweezers essentially, to their week. And they only pick out one or two very small things that they would delegate to someone. But when you give them the parameters, the instructions to go back and assess their week and delegate half of what they did, they get much more creative. And they start to see the possibilities of all of the things that they could delegate.

So, do that audit and assess each week. Find the tasks that you can delegate. You might also want to conduct some research. This might be a great thing to type into Google or ask other people that you work with, friends of yours, colleagues, mentors. What are some of the things that they delegate?

Start to get some inspiration for tasks that maybe you don’t want to do anymore, that you didn’t even think that you could give to someone else. But when you talk to other people, you learn what’s possible. So, don’t indulge in ‘I don’t know’ thinking here, okay?

Mistake number three; hoarding work because you don’t trust other people. Instead of hoarding work because you don’t trust other people, the thing that’s really happening here is that you’re tolerating other people being untrustworthy. So, I want you to stop tolerating and stop avoiding. There’s a lot of discomfort avoidance here.

And instead, I want you to embrace the discomfort. You might have to have some hard conversations, and I’m going to talk about that in a second. But I want you to really commit to the end results. All right? And again, this goes back to expecting people to do it just as good or if not better than you would do it. We need to adjust our expectations.

And also, be willing to work with the person and have those uncomfortable conversations in order to help them improve. It’s going to be a clunky process, probably. That’s not a good enough reason to not do it; you want to commit to the end result. I also want you to humble yourself here. All right? Sometimes people do things better than you expect them to do them. Someone might even be better at doing something than you are.

So, start to look for the positives. Start to see your team members as assets. What might they be able to take off your plate and do even better? I don’t want your expectation to be that they must do it better, but I do want you to humble yourself and just open yourself up to the possibility that they might do it just as well, if not better than you.

All right, mistake number four is when people get stuck on the short term instead of focusing on the long-term goal, when it comes to delegating. And what I mean by this is you’re focused on getting work off of your plate immediately.

You come into delegating, and the only reason you’re doing it is to free up your time in this instance. And I promise you, if you’re doing this, you’re going to encounter so much frustration because it’s not going to get more work off your plate in the short term. In fact, it’s probably going to add more work to your plate in the short term.

Delegating isn’t a short-term solution to overwhelm. Delegating is a long-term solution to not just overwhelm but also to freeing you up so you’re able to do your most meaningful work. So, you’re able to operate in that zone of genius, free up your mental capacity to do the work that only you can do and leave that other work, that other people can do almost as well as you can do it, for them.

So, instead of focusing on the short term, I want you to focus on the long-term goal here, which is building your dream team. And I need you to settle into the fact that it may make your shoes pinch a little tighter in the interim, as you work out the kinks and learn how to delegate and learn how to work with the person that you’re assigning work to.

Now, mistake number five is a big one for my time pressed people. It’s when you tell yourself that you don’t have the time to delegate. Instead of telling yourself this, again, this is a thought, just like, “I don’t know what to delegate.” It’s a thought that your brain is going to serve up to you.

It’s going to seem really logical, and it’s going to continue to have you tolerate the status quo. Where you don’t delegate your work, you do everything yourself, and you never get any relief. There’s never any reprieve from all of the things that you’re currently doing, all the stuff that you currently have on your plate.

So, instead of telling yourself that you don’t have the time, which is just an excuse; it is not true. Instead, I want you to make the time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, so I want you to make the time both for auditing and assessing, so you can figure out what you’re going to delegate.

And then also, for assigning the tasks that you’re going to delegate. Giving those instructions, reviewing someone’s work product, and then making yourself available to answer questions in order to get work products that you actually want to receive; that’s actually good, that’s actually meeting your needs. So, you want to make sure you carve out time for all of that.

For auditing and assessing, you’re going to plan out your week and figure out a portion of your week, it doesn’t have to be lengthy. Even if you spend 15 to 30 minutes doing this, it doesn’t have to be a huge chunk of time. But you want to make sure you carve out specific time to do that audit and assessment of, what could I have delegated from last week? What will I delegate going forward over the course of this next week?

And then, you might need to plan out specifically, what you’re going to assign before you actually assign it. Then you’re going to have to plan meeting with the person that you’re going to assign the work to. And make sure you build in time to review their work product. So, there’s going to be a couple different chunks on your calendar so you can ensure that you have the time set aside to properly delegate.

Which brings me to mistake number six. So many people make the mistake of waiting till the last minute to delegate and they don’t leave themselves enough time. Then they don’t end up delegating, because they don’t leave enough time to properly assign the work or to review it or to make themselves available for questions.

So, they’re on such a tight time crunch that at the very last minute they decide, “I don’t even have time to delegate this. I need to do it myself. It makes the most sense for me to do it myself.” And in those instances, it probably, again, does make sense for you to do it yourself because it’s going to be easier.

You already know what you want to be done. You know how you want to do it. You know how to do it, right? So, it’s going to be easier for you to do it in those last-minute moments instead of waiting to the last minute and putting yourself in that double bind, in that time crunch.

I want you to be really realistic, and work backwards from the deadline. And include enough time to plan how you’re going to assign it, to actually assign it, give the person enough time to work on it, and then give yourself time to review it. And then to flip it back to them in order for them to make revisions.

I don’t want you making the revisions. If you make the revisions, they’re not going to get any better at giving you work product that meets your requirements, that meets your standards. So, you want to review their work and then flip it back to them. Okay? But you want to make sure that you give yourself enough time by working backwards from the deadline.

And focusing on the math whenever we’re working with time management. We always want to be clear on what the math requirement is, the time commitment is, with anything that we’re doing. Delegating is no different here. You want to make sure you get the ‘math of delegating’ down. Okay?

All right. Mistake number seven is not getting clear on the result you want, and hastily giving out instructions. You don’t take time on the front end to actually figure out what it is you’re asking for. So many people make the mistake of thinking that they’re really clear when they’re assigning work to other people.

And I see this time and time again with my clients. They’re actually not being nearly as clear as they think they are. And a lot of times, this is the result of hastily giving out instructions, rather than taking some time and being thoughtful on the front end.

So, there’s a couple different ways that you can do this. Number one, you can focus on the end result that you want and work backwards. Get really clear on all the steps that someone would need to take in order to follow the yellow brick road to get to that ultimate end result.

Another thing you can do is walk through assignments from the start. You can even do it yourself one time, to identify all the different steps that you would take if you were the one completing this work, and create a process for someone to follow. And if you do that, you identify all the steps, then you can send someone that process and it will walk them through the assignment step by step.

But you’re going to be so clear on exactly what it is you want and exactly what you’re asking for. And you’re going to be able to clearly communicate that to the person that you’re delegating the work to. Rather than waiting to the last minute, delegating in a rush, not being clear, giving confusing instructions, and really not having any clue what it is you’re looking for on the front end yourself.

It’s like you think you have an idea, but you don’t really know. So, we want to make sure that you’re thoughtful instead of rushing through this process.

Another area, with delegating, that people start to rush is with after they’ve assigned the work. So, Mistake number eight is when you end up being impatient, you get discouraged, and you give up halfway through the delegation process. So, maybe you delegated the task to begin with. All right? You identified the work that you wanted to assign to someone, you assign it, and then when they flip it back to you, you’re really dissatisfied with the work product that you received.

And instead of being patient and continuing to work with them, figuring out where they went wrong, where weren’t you clear, helping problem solve, giving more clear instructions, flipping it back to them, giving them another stab at the assignment to figure it out and work through the kinks.

Instead of doing that, you get really discouraged and really frustrated and you give up halfway through and you take it back and you say, “Screw it. I’m going to do this instead. I’ll just take it from here. It’s going to be a lot faster if I do it myself.”

Instead of doing that, I want you to recommit to your desired result. Pay attention. Notice if you start to get frustrated or discouraged, and just allow those emotions to be there. Take a deep breath, recognize them, sit with them for a second, but don’t let them drive the bus and be reacting to them. That’s what’s going to cause you to give up halfway through and take the work back yourself.

Instead, I want you to remember, we’re focused not on the short-term goal here, but on the long-term result of you building a team that can truly support you in a meaningful way going forward. And that’s going to take a little bit of time to iron out all of the issues and to really help someone understand what it is you’re looking for.

So, I want you to recommit to your desired result and make sure you follow through and stay the course. If you don’t do this, if you don’t follow through and stay the course, you’re never going to be in a position where you have a team that can actually support you.

Because every time, you’re going to assign something, get work product back that you don’t like, get frustrated and fed up, and then you’re going to do it. And you’re going to get smarter and better at completing the task the way you want it completed, rather than the person you’re assigning the work to, getting smarter and better at completing the task that you assigned to them. All right?

So, we definitely want to make sure that you stay the course and work through this process, even if it’s a little painful and frustrating.

All right, mistake number nine that I see people make is that they make a ton of assumptions about why people did the things that they did. So, when you get work product back that you don’t love; when someone either doesn’t follow your instructions, or maybe they think they followed your instructions, but you disagree with them.

Whatever the case may be, my clients will start to make assumptions about why the people that they’re supervising did the things that they did. And normally, I’ve talked about this in other episodes, normally people’s assumptions are very negative. We tend to assume the worst-case scenario.

So, a lot of people, when they’re assigning work to others and they get work product back that they don’t love, they assume a couple things. Number one, that the person just didn’t care. That is almost never the reason that you get back work product that doesn’t meet your standards. Okay? Another assumption that people will make is that people just aren’t smart enough or capable of figuring it out.

And these are two thoughts that are really close minded, short-sighted, and really pessimistic, that are not going to serve you creating the team that you want to have at the end of the day. Instead, I want you to remember that you have no idea why someone did the things that they did, or why they didn’t do what they didn’t do. You’re not a mind reader, so stop making assumptions.

If you really want to know, get curious and ask them. Why did you do this? How did you get here? What didn’t I explain clearly enough? And I love starting with the assumption that it’s actually something that you did. Not that it’s something that’s wrong with them, but that you could have explained it better.

If you operate from a place of curiosity, rather than from frustration or from a place where you’re beating yourself up, you just remain curious. You can tap into that wealth of information where you can start to see, “Oh, I could have done this differently. I could have been clear about this. I could have explained this in a different way, and maybe that would have helped.”

It’s how you’re going to get better at assigning work to other people, if you stay curious and understand what went wrong here. What could I have done differently? How can I improve next time? I also want you to ask questions to help problem-solve with your team member, rather than assuming that they’re just not competent or that they don’t care.

If it wasn’t either of those things, what else might it be? All right? Try and think of a positive motive. Maybe they didn’t understand something. This isn’t super positive, but it’s a little bit more of a compassionate explanation. Maybe they didn’t understand something, and they didn’t want to bother you. Or they were trying to figure it out and took their best guess themselves, or they felt inadequate and insecure about speaking up and raising their hand.

A lot of people get frustrated when their team members behave like that, but it’s a really relatable occurrence because most of us are all operating under that discomfort avoidance model. We’re all trying to avoid the most immediate discomfort. And for the members of your team that you’re supervising, it’s probably going to be uncomfortable for them to raise their hand and ask for help or ask for clarification with something.

So, you just want to be cognizant of that. If you are going to make an assumption, make a more positive one. Make one that allows you to feel understanding and accepting rather than feeling really frustrated, resentful, and annoyed, okay? But ultimately, problem solve with them. Try and get to the bottom of it. Really figure out what went wrong. What would you do differently next time, in order to remedy the situation?

All right, now on to mistake number 10, which is when you ignore the importance of analysis by telling someone instead of teaching the why. So, whoever you’re supervising, whoever you delegate it to, they’re going to come back and they’re going to ask you some questions. Also, sub-little mistake here, not leaving time for people to ask you questions or not making yourself available for people to ask you questions.

I talked about that earlier a little bit, with waiting to the last minute and making sure that you make time. But you always want to leave room specifically for questions and make yourself available to questions. If people don’t reach out to you to ask questions, I highly encourage you to go to them and force them to ask you questions, because I’m sure they probably have them.

So, set up a standing meeting with your team if necessary, and make it known that the expectation is that they come with questions, and that you’re not going to end the meeting until they ask them. Now, when it comes to question asking and answering, when the person that you’re delegating to asks you a question, it’s going to be really easy and really comfortable for you to just give them the answer.

But instead of doing that, I want you to require them to answer their own questions first. All right? So, they’re going to come with a question, and instead of just giving them the answer, you’re going to say, “What’s your answer to your own question first?” And you’re going to hold them accountable for giving you an answer.

And the reason this is so important, is because when you answer the question, your brain is the one that gets smarter. All right? You get more skilled at solving these problems. What we want is their brain to get more skilled at solving these problems. And the only way that that’s going to happen is if they get more at-bats of solving these problems themselves.

Now, you’re not leaving them to their own devices to have to figure out everything unsupported, you’re going to be there to guide them. But what you want to do is teach them your analysis. You want to teach them your why. And if you ask them to answer their own question first, you’re going to be able to see how they think. And then you’re going to see where their analysis goes haywire, where it goes off the rails, where they’re right and where they’re wrong.

And when you see where they’re going off script or they’re going off track, you’re going to be able to explain your own analysis to them, so they can start to think like you. That’s really what we want. When we’re delegating, over time we want people to anticipate your needs and to analyze problems, just like you analyze them.

So, we want to teach your analysis. And the only way that we can do that is if you get clear on what their analysis is initially, and then you can teach them yours if the two don’t match. All right? Now, this is going to be uncomfortable for you because they’re not going to want to answer their own questions. They’re going to want you to spoon feed them the answers. Because that’s way more comfortable than them having to go out on a limb and answer their own question first.

I know this firsthand, because one of the coaches that I do contract work for, it was my first coaching gig after I got certified, even before I started my own business. I was working for another coach, and she forced us to do this, and I hated it. And in the beginning, I would try and sneak one by her and get away with asking a question, hoping that she would just give me the answer.

But every time I did this, she would hold me accountable. And she would force me to come up with my own answer first. And I hated it. It made me super uncomfortable to go out on a limb and take my best guess because I was afraid of being wrong.

My perfectionism was really coming up in full force. I wanted to be able to feel smart and intelligent and not have to feel exposed or vulnerable because I was taking an educated guess. But what happened through this process is, number one, it helps me build my confidence, because sometimes I was just right.

And she would tell me, “Yes, that’s exactly right. That’s the answer. Go do that.” And other times, I would learn, I would get clear and come up with my own theory, she would show me where I went off the tracks, and then she would help steer me towards the right answer. And she would teach me her reasoning so then I could start to think like her and approach problems and come up with solutions from a similar vantage point with a similar ideology, a similar mindset.

So, it made me feel more capable, in time, as I was learning things on the go, as we encountered each of these questions and worked through each of these problems. It also had the benefit of helping me build my confidence. Because sometimes I would have a question, but I would know that I would have to go through this process.

I would have to come up with my own answer and have her review it. And that sometimes felt like a lot of work. And when I was 80% sure, or 90% sure of my answer, rather than go through all that rigmarole, I would just trust myself. I would come up with my own answer, and I would implement that answer without running it by her first.

What that taught me was to rely on my own opinion. To treat myself like an expert. To figure things out. To tap into my own resourcefulness. To trust myself. And almost always, my answer was sufficient, nothing went wrong, I answered it perfectly fine. And I was just able to move on and keep going.

That helped me really increase my self-confidence, to believe in myself and feel so much more capable as I went through the day-to-day of this position. So, your people are going to get the same benefit when you have them do this. Make your team answer their own questions. Don’t spoon feed them the answers. See how they think and explain your analysis after they’ve given you their own best guess. All right?

No more spoon feeding. You’re going to go through this process, even though they’re going to tell you, “I don’t know what the answer is.” Don’t let them get away with that. Make them give you an actual answer, not an ‘I don’t know’.

Okay, mistake number 11 is when you avoid uncomfortable conversations. This one is especially for my people pleasers who don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. Now, remember, I’ve already talked about this on the podcast before, but you actually don’t hurt another person’s feelings. We hurt our own feelings by the thoughts that we think about a neutral circumstance.

So, if someone’s feelings are hurt, that’s because of their thinking about whatever you say or do. Okay? You just want to be aware of that. You don’t have to take on responsibility for how they’re feeling. Now, that being said, that’s no reason for you to operate as a jerk in the world. You want to make sure that you’re giving feedback from a clean space.

And I’ve recorded episodes on that, as a guide for you to give feedback in a really positive, productive, intentional manner, rather than from a negative emotion being fueled by frustration, resentment, anger, disappointment, any of those emotions, which isn’t going to lead to anything good. But if you’re a people pleaser, and you’re worried about upsetting someone, and you’re uncomfortable with someone else’s discomfort, you’re probably not going to speak up and have a really candid conversation.

Which is going to do one of two things, it’s either going to drive you to continue to tolerate subpar work, or you’re not going to delegate because of this, you’re not going to get the work product that you want. And then this whole process is going to be really futile. You’re just going to keep doing everything yourself, which does not solve the problem that we’re trying to remedy by learning to delegate and doing it effectively.

So, instead of avoiding the uncomfortable conversations because of guilt, worry, or fear, I want you to practice radical candor. You want to be really honest with the person. Now, this does not mean you want to be judgmental, we got to curb the judgment. But you want to be honest, from a curious place, from an understanding place, from an accepting place, from a supportive place.

And I want you to focus, again, on that long-term goal of building the team of your dreams. And from a place where you’re believing that getting the end result that you want is possible. If you think it’s not possible, you’re going to throw in the towel. So, you have to make sure that you’re cultivating the mindset and you’re operating from a place of strong belief that you can get the result that you want, through the process of delegating.

Now, it may be uncomfortable for you to practice radical candor, that is okay. Gagging-and-go through that discomfort, you will survive it. It’s not going to be the most fun conversation of your life, but it’s going to be worthwhile. And that’s really all that we’re focused on here: Taking meaningful action in order to create the result you want when it comes to delegating, and freeing yourself up to do your most meaningful work in the world.

Okay, last but not least, mistake number 12. It’s when you don’t diversify your delegation. A lot of people are really myopic when it comes to delegating. They don’t diversify, they don’t use different avenues. So, I want you to put your thinking cap on and think of different ways that you’re able to delegate.

So, there may be different team members that you’re not currently utilizing. Maybe you’re only thinking of your assistant or a subordinate attorney, right? Maybe an associate or a junior partner, if you’re a partner. I want you to think of other team members that you may not be utilizing. Then, I want you to think about ways that you may not be utilizing them.

Again, this goes back to talking to other colleagues, doing some research, the lost art of dictation really has gone away. And I think that’s an area that would really make a lot of people more effective and more productive, if you were delegating rather than spending so much time typing things and doing everything yourself. But I want you to use different avenues.

Also ask yourself: Are there tech solutions that I can implement here? Can I let tech do some of the work for me? You don’t just have to delegate to a live person, right? We’ve got a lot of AI solutions that are being invented and coming out and being released in the legal space. Are there any of those solutions that you might be able to implement?

I also want you to think outside of the workplace. Are there areas and tasks that you can delegate in your personal life. And you can think about different services? Are there single tasks you want to delegate? Are there ongoing tasks that you do frequently that you want to delegate? Are there some subscription services that you might be able to pay for, sign up for, in order to offload some of that responsibility and free up some of your time?

There are so many different options at your disposal, so many different avenues that are available to you, if you just give yourself some time to brainstorm those solutions. To give some thought to what would make a difference for you; what you hate doing, what you’d love to get rid of, what you’d love to delegate certain tasks that you’d love to take off of your plate. As you start to identify those, you can start to look for different nuanced ways, diversified ways, to get rid of those tasks. Okay?

All right. These are the 12 most common mistakes that I see people make when it comes to delegating. If you’re making them, I don’t want you to beat yourself up. I just want you to be onto yourself. I gave you, for each one, some quick suggestions of what to do instead. Okay, those are quick suggestions. In the next episode, I’m going to break it down much more specifically, and I’m going to give you a process to follow.

We’re going to talk about the mindset that you need to cultivate in order to delegate effectively. And then, I’m going to teach you the process of how to do it effectively, alright? The step-by-step, follow-the-yellow-brick-road plan to get you from where you’re not delegating to where you are delegating, and how to do it in the most effective efficient manner.

Okay, this is going to be a game changer for you. We’re going to free you up to do your most meaningful work; get the stuff off your plate that you hate doing, that you don’t really have time to do. It’s going to give you so much of your time back, so much of your mental energy back. And it’s going to allow you to have more time outside of work because you’re not going to be buried doing all these things that it really doesn’t make sense for you to do.

I can’t wait for you to be on the other side of this delegation issue. Where you’re doing it effectively and you’re really reaping the benefits of having done it. It’s going to be so good.

All right, my friends. That’s what I have for you this week. I hope you have a beautiful week. I will talk to you in the next episode.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

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