The 6 No-no’s of Successful Delegation Part 6: Never Forget to Say Thank You!

 

pinterest-graphic

Never Forget to Say Thank You!

I hate sounding like everyone’s mom but you must never, EVER forget your manners. Whether you are overseeing an event or an organization, working with volunteers or high paid professionals, you must ALWAYS REMEMBER TO SAY THANK YOU!

This is vitally important when you are working with volunteers. Most volunteers work hard for no pay. Many if not most do the work out because they feel called to serve. However, everyone wants to know their hard work is appreciated. Too often, once an event or term (for those serving on a board or committee) is over, the leader walks away, musing over the great job THEY did. Yes, they did do a great job, with a lot of help.

You simply must show your appreciation. At the very least, send a handwritten note thanking each volunteer. Yes, handwritten. They put in a lot of time. The least you can do is take some time to write a brief not thanking each & everyone of your helpers for they contribution to making your event, year, organization, etc a success. If you are able, you might give each person a small gift to thank them. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It can even be something you made. You just need to let them know you really appreciate how hard they worked & how good they made you look! Take my word for it, you will have an easier time gathering volunteers for your next endeavor if you treat your current volunteers like royalty.

So, what if they are employees. I mean, after all, they’re getting PAID aren’t they? Why should I have to say “thank you” when they are simply doing their job? Well, first off, if all you want them to do is the barest minimum required, then go ahead & refuse to thank them. Before you do that though, you should understand the hierarchy of needs. I’m not going to teach the entire structure but I am going to share the short version. Maslow’s  hierarchy is a motivational theory. At the bottom, people are working for basic needs. On the next step, they are working for their safety. If you want people that are going to give more than expected, then you need to show your appreciation. People higher on that hierarchy seek to belong, to strengthen their self esteem. On the final level, people seek personal growth & fulfillment. Once you get past the first two levels, pay is not the motivator. While those people like appreciation, they prefer something more substantial. While the people on the top 3 levels like monetary rewards, they need more in order to be satisfied with their position. You MUST let them know you not only see the great job they are doing, you also appreciate THEM! It’s not just about the job, it’s about them!

Now you might think the idea of thanking people is outdated. WERE YOU RAISED IN A CAVE? Good manners are NEVER outdated. Good manners help you know you are always doing the right thing. Now, if saying thank you makes you uncomfortable because no one else in the organization acts that way, in other words, like a civilized human being, then TOUGH! If you want to be a leader, you must do the things no one else is willing or able to do. A leader must be willing to blaze a trail, even if it means clearing an old, little used trail, THEN DO IT! Otherwise, you are simply a  follower! Is that what you really want!

It takes so little to show people that you appreciate them. Yet the rewards for them AND YOU are tremendous.

The 6 No-no’s of Successful Delegation Part 5: Never Criticize

pinterest-graphic

Never Criticize

 

I have a confession to make, well, actually 2 confessions: I am borderline OCD & I struggle with anxiety. Both conditions are mild & only cause me slight problems. My darling husband, the Infamous Mr. D is so wonderful about all this. I once apologized for being so fussy about something. He told me I wasn’t fussy. I simply like things a certain way. Why shouldn’t I insist they be that way if that’s what I want?

While this attitude of wanting things MY way may work well at home & with family, it doesn’t always fly when serving as a leader. An effective leader must surrender control to those assigned tasks & trust they will do an incredible job with their assignment. Easier said than done!

When we are given the responsibility for an event, project, etc., we often begin with a vision of the end result. After all, leaders tend to be visionaries so this is only natural. Then we do our best to share that vision with our team, allowing for them to adapt the vision to fit their gifts & talents. We must remember we took the time to do our research, selecting the right people for each task according to their skill set. We must accept the fact the end result may reflect our vision but from a different angle as each member of the team applies their perception of the vision. this is when trouble may begin.

Sometimes its tough to remember our vision did not come down a mountain craved in stone tablets. Our vision is a living idea that evolves as new people are added to the process. Each person brings their perspective of the vision, making it better, even stronger. However, as the source of origin for the vision, we may have a difficult time accepting any changes to the original. We may believe it was perfect to begin. How dare these charlatans trifle with perfection! Without thinking, it becomes easy to criticize the adaptation to the vision, pointing out perceived flaws & weaknesses. BIG MISTAKE!

Unless we want to do EVERYTHING ourselves, we must be able to surrender the vision to members of our team & allow them to adapt their portion as needed. Remember, NO MICROMANAGING! We must hand it over & trust our decision to add them to the team & trust their ability to do the job efficiently & creatively.

When someone has changed my vision, I have had to take a breath before speaking. I say something pleasant without committing myself until I have time to consider the changes. Once I take a step back, I usually find I like the things that have been changed, added, subtracted or whatever. The ideas brought to the vision by others have only strengthened the original, not weakened it. If I do find their changes just won’t work for whatever reason, I gently point this out & begin a discussion on ways to make the improvements that will work.

No one likes to admit their idea wasn’t just brilliant but also perfect the way it began. Let’s face it, though, even a genius idea like the incandescent lightbulb took thousands & thousands of tries before Edison arrived at the perfect combination of materials that worked. Be open to improvement & never give up!

The 6 No-no’s of Successful Delegation Part 3: Never Micromanage

pinterest-graphic

Never Micromanage

As a first time leader, you want to do a good job. No, you want to do a GREAT job! You’re concerned it might reflect badly on you if something goes wrong, whether you are in charge of an event or an organization. Your name & face are what people see & you are going to do everything in your power to make certain everything goes RIGHT! Unfortunately, this often leads to micromanaging every aspect of  of your event or organization. Nothing is going to slip through the cracks on your watch. Nothing, that is, except all those wonderful workers helping you. Workers who get tired very quickly of having every task & decision second guessed by their Fearful Leader!

Managers need to dot every I & cross every T. Leaders need to have faith their workers are taking care of the I’s & T’s. For this reason, leaders must do their work before assigning tasks to others. They must create a list of all the things that need to be done or positions to be filled. Leaders must then study the people in their potential worker pool, matching the best people (based on their gifts & talents) with tasks or positions. While everyone may not be a “perfect” fit, you should match them up as closely as possible, allowing room for growth. I believe a vital part of leadership is helping others grow. Growth gives individuals a sense of pride & accomplishment while increasing your worker pool.

Once you have people in place, let them do their job. Check with them regularly in case they need something. Let them know you are always available should they have questions or need help. Otherwise, LEAVE THEM ALONE! Talented workers become frustrated when someone is constantly staring over their shoulder. It implies you have no faith in their ability. If they are an experienced worker, they will resent this implication. If they are a new worker, just learning how to apply their talents, they will become insecure, questioning their ability to do the job correctly. In either case, you have cost yourself time & talent. In addition, word will get out that you are NOT the one people want to work with on any event or in any organization.

Take a breath, stand back & let people do the job they are qualified to do. In the long run, this technique makes things much less stressful for everyone!

Time to Stop Talking & Take Action!

Harassed & helpless! Boy, do I know that feeling! I watch the news & read the paper & begin to wonder if there IS any hope. I read the posts on Facebook from other moms, other women & I know I’m not alone. So many women seem frightened, hopeless, helpless. We all begin to wonder if there is ANYTHING we can do to make things better.

Things seem to be getting worse everyday. I get angry and resolved to take action. Unfortunately, I let other things get in my way. I knew God was calling me & instead, I let trivial matter distract me. Not anymore!

I’m not here to discuss political issues or constitutional rights. I believe this goes deeper than any of that. No, I’m want to look at this from my expert perspective. And my area of expertise is Theology. When I was a kid, people said, “Everyone always talks about the weather but no one ever does anything about it!” Well, there isn’t much we can do about the weather. And while many of us TALK about conditions in our nation, our cities, our neighborhoods, there IS something we can do about it.

In the verse above from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus felt compassion for the people because there were lost & afraid “like sheep without a shepherd.” We act like frighten sheep. We run around in a panic. Fortunately, we HAVE a Shepherd. Jesus is watching over us, protecting us whether we realize it or not. So the first thing we can do it put our faith in Him.

The second thing we can do is find strength, hope & comfort in Scripture. When life seems overwhelming, when we are unable to find answers, I know we can ALWAYS find the answers we need in the Bible.

The third thing we can do is PRAY! There is power in prayer. I also believe there is incredible power when WOMEN pray. More important, powerful things happen when women come together to pray. Jesus told us when 2 or more are gathered in my name, I will be there. Oh, He’s always there with us as individuals but when 2 or more of us come together to pray, Jesus is right there with us, praying beside us & personally taking our concerns to His Father.

In light of these three things, I came to the realization there is even more we can do. For a very long time now, I have felt God filling me with a vision. God has been calling me to create a ministry for women. A ministry made up of small groups of women, meeting in homes across the country, sharing faith, studying Scripture, praying, strengthening & supporting one another & having fun! The problem I had was how to do this?

I have dragged my feet long enough. I can’t worry anymore about the right way to begin, the right time to start, the right pice of the puzzle to fall into my lap. I’m just going to begin.

If you look at the top of the page in the menu, you’ll see Sisters of Simple Joy. This is the name I have given to our small group women’s ministry. Beneath that, I am adding information to help you launch your own group. There is no charge for any of this. I have created a workbook for group leaders. Anyway, you can find information at the top.

For now, pray. God is calling a small group of women to be the first small group leaders in this ministry. I’m not naming any names. That’s not for me to decide. I’m not saying anyone should do anything right now. Just pray. If you are one of the women God has chosen, He’ll let you know. All I ask is that you open your heart, mind & spirit to His leading!

And should you decide to join this adventure, let me know. I want to create a network of praying faithful women that uphold & support one another, their families, their communities & our nation.

Hugs & blessings!

Jean Ann

Today’s Featured Digital Book: Accessorize Your Life

Accessorize Your Life

The little black dress is a fabulous addition to your wardrobe. In it, you to fit in with other people in any situation yet its style allows you to express your individuality. Add accessories to the little black dress and you have a difference that makes you stand out.

Being like Jesus is exactly the same. We want to fit in with other people in a variety of situations while still maintaining our individuality. What gives us that difference are 10 accessories, qualities that made Jesus like everyone else but different. What are those accessories and how can you incorporate them into your life?

Accessorize Your Life: Discovering 10 Qualities to Create Life with a Difference helps you develop a selection of the 10 qualities through a 10 lesson Bible study. Each lesson offers a Scripture verse that exemplifies the quality, introduction and questions to help you better understand the quality and incorporate it into your life.

Accessorize Your Life may be done as an individual study or in a group. It contains a Leader Guide to help you set up your own Bible Study group.

Enjoy a positive and powerful difference in your life when you “put on” a selection of accessories with the Christ-like difference. Only $3

Download

8 Steps to Effectively Share your Message Step #8: Have Others Share Your Message

 

I had thought of calling this step Get Someone Else to Do It but decided to be more tactful. It is however, your goal.

My favorite part of Tom Sawyer is when Tom is told to paint a fence & he motivates other boys to do it for him. What an incredible example of leadership! It’s a hot dirty job & he manages to make it look inviting, so inviting the other boys BEG him to let them do the job!

An Inventive & Effective Leader

This is clever on so many levels. First, Tom knew exactly who he needed to recruit for the job at hand. Second, he made a dirty job look good. Tom gave those boys a vision of the mind-numbing job of fence painting look so good they BEGGED to do it for him! Third, while it would have take Tom alone a long time to finish painting the fence, the group of boys churned it out in no time. Dividing up the work assigned to 1 person among a group people made the task easier & quicker to accomplish. Fourth, while Tom had to get the ball rolling, beginning the painting himself, once he recruited others to help out, Tome was able to sit back & let the work continue without his help.

Following Tom’s Example

Now, I know Tom Sawyer is not used as an example of effective leadership, although perhaps he should be. You can however, learn a lot from Tom’s example, discovering ways to promote & share your message by getting others to do it for you.

Recruit the Right People

First, you have to determine who the right people are to recruit for the job. Look for bloggers, podcasters, etc that have a message that compliments yours. It might be on a topic you have considered using but felt it would pull you too far off your focus. This allows you to offer your market information you would like to create without having to spend the time researching & writing. Once you have found a few people, you want to recruit them to help you share your message with their audience.

Make It Look Good

Tom made a hot dirty job look good which encouraged the boys to ask to help. You need to made the job of sharing your message look good to others so they willingly offer to do it. How? By showing them what’s in it for them. You want to create a partnership with them that is mutually beneficial. Contact them & ask if you can share their site, material, broadcasts, etc with your audience. If you have a podcast, ask about interviewing them. When you post the material, be sure to send them the link. I like working with women that are just starting out. They are so excited for the exposure & I like helping them. When the article, post, program is available, they share the link with EVERYONE THEY KNOW! This drives new people to your material. Be sure to provide links to your other resources so visitors can learn more about you.

You can also share links to their sites on your site in exchange for them doing the same for you. Or share their book, program whatever in exchange for doing it for you. This is all mutually beneficial.

Many Hands Make Light Work

Finding the right people & sharing their material or interviewing them takes time. Eventually though, it makes less work for you. The more people you help, the more people you are able to reach. Tom could have recruited 1-2 boys to paint for him. Instead, he recruited a group that should have been able to knock the job out in no time. It took time for him to recruit that many boys but it paid off in the long run. It will take time for you to recruit the right people but it pays off in the long run. The people you help drive a new audience to your sites without you spending any money. You must simply invest the time at first.

Finally, They Come to You

After Tom had recruited a few boys to paint, I imagine other boys began to show up ASKING if they could paint too. tom would no long need to recruit helpers. They would come to him, wanting to participate.

The same thing will happen to you. At first, you will need to find people whose material you can promote. You will need to keep doing it day after day. Eventually, however, you will reach the tipping point where the process takes on a life of its own. It happens slowly at first. Just one person here & there asking you to share their message. Drip, drip, drip until the rush begins. Soon, your mailbox is filled with people asking to be interviewed, wanting you to share their book, seeking to have you promote their site.

At this point, like Tom, you can sit back & watch the work continue without any effort on your part. Well, almost. You still have work to do. However, your listeners, subscribers, numbers continue to grow without any effort on your part. All you need to do is help other people & continue to create new content. Not bad, huh?

In Conclusion

So, there you have it. It takes time to go through the entire process. Not every message will need the entire process. Let’s face it, not every blog post can be turned into a book! You can, however, follow the steps as far as each topic takes you. This systematic way of building on your message saves you time & helps you focus & grow your brand with less stress & greater success!

8 Steps to Effectively Share a Message Step #7: Develop a Keynote/Workshop

 

At this point, you have been working on this topic for quite awhile. You’ve shared it on your blog, written a booklet, done podcasts & more. Now it’s time to share it with a live audience.

PRACTICE-PRACTICE-PRACTICE

Whether you speak to your audience in person or on the internet with a webinar, you need to be certain your message is ready to share. You can always go back & edit everything you have done up to this point. You can’t edit what you said during a live presentation once that presentation is over. You CAN record each presentation, FORCE yourself to listen to it & discover ways to improve either the material or presentation of that material.

Never Rush It

I know it’s easy to jump into doing a live presentation right away. We all over the thought of adoring fans hanging on our every word. This ego boost is what gets most people over their fear of public speaking. You must, however, wait until your message is finely tuned before you share it with a live audience.

Keynote or Workshop

How do you know whether your message should be a keynote or a workshop? I always look at keynotes as being inspirational. They may encourage you to take action, may even offer you steps to help you TAKE that action. During a keynote, people tend to listen more than write. During a workshop, people take notes. A workshop is a how-to session, teaching people ways to take specific action in a step-by-step presentation. You can use the same material for both.

About Keynotes

The keynote needs to be a trimmed down version of your material. It should encourage your audience to begin the process outlined in your material. It should offer people enough information that they might put your advice to work, even if on a limited basis. For those wanting more information, your keynote should encourage them to purchase your book without sounding like an infomercial. In other words, leave them wanting more!

About Workshops

Your workshop should also leave them wanting more. While it is more detailed than a keynote, you don’t need to share EVERYTHING that’s in your book. Find helpful ways to point out the additional information that can be found on your blog, podcast & books.

It All Prepares You for This!

Speaking to a live audience enables you to connect more directly with your market. You must however be prepared personally & with your material before you step in front of the microphone! Every other step before this prepares you AND your message to do the job well!