Monday, September 29, 2008

Learning how to delegate

I was just asked yesterday at church if I'd be willing to accept another calling. Then as I was listening to hear what that calling might be, I heard talk of a piano player being needed for the primary children and thought for sure that was what the calling would be. Well, I won't officially be called for another 2 weeks, but the calling is very different than that. In fact, it's another calling with a big time commitment. Like with my Enrichment Leader calling, I was told a big part of my calling will be delegating to others.

My thoughts on delegating are as follows:
1. I'm a perfectionist. If I think something should be done a certain way and don't know WHO can do it that way, I try to do it myself.
2. I hate inconveniencing people. If I don't think someone wants to help, I won't ask.
3. I am shy. Ugh. I HATE being shy. I LOATHE it.
4. I don't know most of the people at church. Yeah, I've been there since May (with the exception of the weekends spent out of town), but I haven't met too many people. When I've gone to events where people would be there I could meet, I'd try to meet some, but it's tough (see #3).
5. Because of #4, I don't know who has what talents/skills/abilities/interests that might help me in the delegation process. I'm trying to get that kind of feedback from people at church themselves (I created and sent out a survey, but most people haven't responded to it at all).
6. If I can't get someone to come to a meeting after saying they'd be available to attend, how can I entrust someone to take on a bigger responsibility?

So it boils down to this: I don't know people and therefore have not built up trust in depending on them. I used to think I was the kind of person to trust someone until they gave me reason not to trust them, but now I am starting to realize that it's deeper than that. I don't trust people I don't know. And if I know you to some degree and you've already let me down in that capacity, it's hard for me to build trust in you in another capacity.

If I try to delegate to others and they fail, I worry it'll look bad on me (since it is ultimately my responsibility). And I don't think that's necessarily an unfounded fear. In fact, when I first started my new position, I heard a lot of complaints. No solutions, mind you, but complaints. I'm asking for solutions, but I'm not getting those responses to help me figure out what solutions would appease the complainers. And now I'm finding myself joining them in complaining, which I hate.

Another part of my problem is that I don't know a whole lot about what either calling really entails. I don't know what the perceptions are of others that someone in that calling would need to do in order to be perceived as fulfilling their calling successfully. Because I'm a perfectionist, I want to do things properly and well. But it's hard to say I'm doing either when I don't know what standards I'm being held to.

Guess I should try to find a book or two about delegating and/or trusting others.

I have a lot of learning/growth to do. Guess that was why I was put in my calling (and will be put in my new calling shortly) in the first place.


Erin said...

Wow, Debra! It sounds like you have a lot of great opportunities! I wish you the best, and hope that you can learn to breath easy. :) Perhaps the theme for the Bellevue Stake will give you a little encouragement: "Search diligently, pray always and be believing..." (D&C 90:24) It has long been a favorite scripture of mine. I have used it as a guide often.

Crystalbell said...

I am just like you, #1-4 are all things I struggle with too.

The thing about saying you don't trust people, I have a bit of a differing viewpoint on it (with regards specifically to you). I don't think it's a lack of trust on your part, but more of not wanting to put expectations on others (hence the not wanting to inconvenience others). I understand this, completely. I think you're pretty altruistic in your viewpoint and trust of others, it just seems that you may not want to bother someone or be disappointed, therefore you'd like to keep the expectations to a minimum.

Then again, I may be completely wrong.

Being a perfectionist is hard work, I know. Sometimes it even takes the life right out of you. It's time to put those delegating skills to use (or at least start learning how to use them), for your own sake and your family's sake. Trust me, perfection isn't everything, it nearly ruined me 4 years ago.

Debra said...

I like your viewpoint of trust. I agree with that. Thanks.

I have been able to stop myself from being a perfectionist when it comes to a few things, but I do still struggle.

McKnights said...

My thoughts for you are this:

First with church callings you know little about- make an honest effort to learn all you can about that calling (what is the purpose, what is expected, are there guildlines to help you with the execution of your calling, talk to the last person that held that calling). I had to do all of this when I was called to ward food storage coordinator and it has help me tons. I have more support then I thought I would ever be able to round up.

In my current calling I don't have to delegate things to people but I do need help in order to help people in my ward see a need to work on gathering their food storage. I have reminded the sisters in my ward that they raised their hand to sustain me to this calling and part of that means they will help me any way they can when I need it and this is what help I need. Who is going to help?

Don't worry about what others might be thinking. You will never really know unless you ask them. Just do your best and that is all anyone can ask of you.

Start small and build to the bigger things. As you are excited about your calling others will see that and want to help out.