Crystal looked across the table with a grimace on her face. She had a project to delegate and just returned from a circle of the office looking for a candidate.
“As I walked around, everyone looked so busy,” she said.
I smiled. “And you let that fool you?”
“The fact that everyone looked so busy was a trap you set for yourself.”
“A trap?” Crystal was curious, but she wasn’t sure she would like the answer.
“As you walked around looking to hand this project out, what was your purpose?”
“Well, it’s a project I have been doing over and over for the past two years. It would save me a couple of hours a week if I could find someone to do it for me,” she replied.
“So, your primary motivation was to save yourself some time?” I didn’t wait for the answer. “So, tell me, what’s the major benefit for the person you would delegate this to?”
Crystal hadn’t thought about this, but she responded quickly. “Well, they would gain a new skill.”
“And what else?” Over the next few minutes, Crystal made a list of 12 benefits to the team member. The list included:
- A sense of accomplishment.
- Feeling a greater part of the team.
- Feeling more valuable to the team.
- A sense of contribution.
“Crystal, do any of these things have to do with saving you time?” I asked.
“No. Most of these things have to do with challenge and development.”
“So, get out of your time trap. I want you to make the circle again, but this time, think about the person who would see this as a positive step in their professional development.”
Crystal didn’t move. “You know, I don’t have to make the circle. I already know who needs this project. You’re right, she is busy, but this would be important to her.”