One of my current clients came to me with several challenges, mainly around how she could step up to the next level and achieve a promotion for which she is in the running. Fundamentally, she felt she lacked knowledge and confidence regarding most of the aspects that she had seen me write about.
As with many of my clients, they often come to me with a vague sense of the challenge they face perhaps don’t really know what the main thing is to focus on to solve the challenge. However, once we actually start work and they start to reflect on their behaviour and their interactions at work, we find the deeper things that are holding them back and that will make a real difference.
This client realised she really struggled to ask people to do things, she felt bad, like she was slope shouldering work. This was even more of an issue when she was asking people who had worked at the company longer than her, to do things, even though they were more junior.
Of course it is really important what you ask people to do i.e. not just stuff you don’t like doing, the how you ask and the when. Nobody will respond well if ‘ordered’ to do something when it is common knowledge they already have several tight deadlines.
However, with that in mind there are several benefits to the people you are delegating to when you ask them to do new tasks or take on new responsibilities – as with most situations it doesn’t all work one way.
The benefits for the person you are asking that we talked through were:
- An opportunity for someone to try something new, making their role more interesting.
- An opportunity for you to spend some time with that person initially to support them starting the task, this creates an opportunity to build the relationship and makes people feel like you are trying to develop them.
- An opportunity for people to take greater responsibility and ultimately perform better and potentially move towards a promotion themselves.
Naturally, it also helps you to step up in your role to focus on different things and to develop the skills associated with managing people and tasks. After all, one of the biggest things standing in the way of people getting promoted is not just their own performance and other skills, but the lack of somebody to step into their role. Therefore, good succession planning should include looking at delegating responsibilities and helping everyone in the team to develop new skills and capabilities. It’s important to realise that as you increase in seniority, your knowledge and expertise of the core service you delivered is expected and you will actually be doing less of the ‘doing’ day-to-day. However, you will be spending more time managing people, whether they be clients, teams, more senior people or prospects.
If you need some support with a barrier you are experiencing in your career (most involve people!), working towards promotion or stepping up in the role you are in, then Joanna Gaudoin can help. Her ‘Career Impact Programme’ helps you as an individual focus on the challenges that are holding you back, even if you cannot articulate them fully at this point. For a no obligation conversation, contact Joanna. You can also request the ‘Boost Your Career Success’ email series – just click here.