“Every strength has an Achilles heel,” whether you like it or not and this is something every professional needs to understand, from entry-level employees to leaders. However, for the longest time management development programs have always focused on a strength-based approach to increasing productivity and engagement, and while there are countless methods to counter one’s weaknesses, maybe the best way is to delegate them, rather than working on them. Can this help when you seem slow to make a decision when there is a time crunch? Or do you feel overwhelmed with too many details when you already are an expert? How about considering delegation?
Is delegation cheating? Or is it the smart thing to do?
Glain Roberts-McCabe, founder of The Roundtable reveals how she discovered the delegation method to hack her weaknesses at work. “One of my clients was sharing with the group the progress she was making on her goal of being more lighthearted and approachable at work. One of her towering strengths is her ability to get results. Her style is no-nonsense and direct. Great strengths until she’s under pressure. When that happens, she comes across as being unapproachable and intimidating,” she explained. In order to ease the pressure for her and her team, she decided to “cheat” and delegate her weaknesses. However, the truth is that delegation is not cheating, it is the smart thing to do, but one cannot simply delegate to just anyone. There are some secrets to getting it right. The first step is changing the way you hire people if you’re a leader. The most common thing to do is hire someone in your own image, but this can be the biggest mistake because your weakness is mirrored in them. Therefore, hiring people who are different can help you delegate your weaknesses to them.
“While bringing more of your strengths to work is critically important, managing the invariable downside of those strengths is equally crucial”
“It’s much easier to manage the dark side of your strength if you put in place a structure that becomes a regular part of your routine. If your towering strength is coming up with new ideas, the downside might be that you end up overwhelming your team with too many activities and a lack of focus,” added Roberts-McCabe. Hence, it is important to create a certain kind of structure to ensure that your weaknesses are kept in check, like having frequent check-ins with your team regardless of what might come to disrupt them. Delegating weaknesses might seem like a very “gasp, how could you do that to someone-moment”, but consider it as leveraging the strength of someone who is stronger than you in your area of weakness, which is a wonderful thing. “While bringing more of your strengths to work is critically important, managing the invariable downside of those strengths is equally crucial. Delegating your weaknesses is one way to round out your approach to leadership,” said Roberts-McCabe. The workplace is not a one-woman or a one-man show, and it’s not a crime to delegate your weakness, after all, it’s not called a team for anything.
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