Mastering the Art of Delegation and Learning How to Say No

Lady Gaga, in an interview back in 2015 said that it is ‘important to empower yourself’. It was in this interview that the former meat wearing star discussed her struggle with mental illness and her inability to say no. Since working through her anxiety and depression, the ‘A Star is Born’ actress has made peace with herself by mastering the art of saying no. Gaga has vowed to rid the pressure of saying yes to work gigs and events that ultimately make her unhappy.

Why do we say yes?

How many times have you walked into your office, stared at the pile of work on your desk, placed your head in your hands and thought; I’ve taken on too much. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon scenario.

Melody Wilding from The Muse believes that high achievers are the prime candidates for taking on additional work. This is because they like to be challenged, want to put their skillset to use as well as feel the pressure to constantly add to their work portfolio. Due to an eagerness to over perform in the workplace, saying yes can lead to an overwhelming amount of responsibilities. We often take on these extra projects as it could lead to a promotion, raise or another form of reward.

“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.”
Tony Blair

For most of us, the art of saying no has not yet been conquered. This is because answering in agreeance is more natural. Amanda Greenberg, CEO of Balloonr said that “when you welcome opportunity, it tends to lead to new, better and exciting things that result in even more opportunities” hence the reason why we continue to say yes. However, Greenberg also states that “It is also important to say no when you know that you won’t be able to deliver”.

Obviously, there will be tasks at work you will be expected to complete as they are part of the job description. However, for most of us we say yes to tasks that we don’t have to do. It’s important to analyse and consider the pros and cons when it comes to taking on additional work.

 Pile of papers
Already said yes? No Problem:

After careful consideration and maybe a panic attack or two you have come to the realisation that you won’t be able to complete the task to the best of your ability. The best solution is to ask the team around you for help (yes, it’s that simple). Delegation is important for both efficiency and development, while being an important skill for leadership. However, many workers are reluctant to share the load, here is a list of barriers to delegation:

  • Not enough time: you may feel that it is easier and faster to complete the task rather than take the time to explain it to a team member
  • You can do it better: Your team members are qualified as well, so it is important to work through the project together
  • Not getting credit: Some people believe that if others help them complete the work there will be no recognition. However, if the team does a great job it’s more beneficial in the long run
  • Losing control: You may feel that the responsibility has been taken out of your hands, however with the added help you feel confident that the project has been completed to the highest standard.

So, the next time you’re confronted with additional work, remember to breathe and ask the people around you for help. Delegation is key to an efficient work environment.

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