Stress is part of our daily lives. It is also called ‘the silent killer’. It’s hard to focus on everything, multitask and to stay at the top of your game day in and day out. Everyone always says it is important to live a balanced lifestyle, but how? Maybe all you need to do is to go back to the basics. For you to enjoy life and take off the edge both personally and professionally, start with this one thing. Start by delegating. Delegation is a useful tool in time management to relieve stress, but it is underutilized.
To delegate means that you assign certain responsibilities like tasks or activities to another person. You are in fact empowering that individual to make decisions. Don’t be fooled though, you as the person who delegated the work is still held accountable should this task be a failure or not completed. It, however, lightens the workload tremendously if assigned and monitored correctly. So the real question is whom to delegate to and how to manage the delegation of the tasks needed to be performed.
In order for you to be an effective leader, supervisor, manager or even a team leader it is extremely important to develop your delegation skills so that you can achieve the goals and also help grow your own employees’ or team members’ skills and knowledge.
When wanting to delegate, you are faced with some pitfalls. Your immediate questions are; can I trust them to do the job well? I’m I not merely dumping my own work on them? What if they make a mess and I have to re-do it anyway? You also think that it is too time-consuming to train someone or to meet with them to give the task over. You consider doing it yourself, and then you know it is right from the beginning without wasting time. Sound familiar?
Indirectly, when you think and act like this, you immediately take away other people’s chance to learn and grow. The other problem you are faced with is that you will always have too much to do, feel overworked and you will never have a chance to develop your own skills and knowledge because you will not have the opportunity to explore new avenues. For example, if you own your own business and you want to expand, training someone will be an investment now that you will reap the benefits of when you release yourself from those duties to concentrate on the strategic development of your own business goals.
Be warned though, some things are not for delegating, especially if you own a business or if you are responsible for a team. Never delegate facilitation of a change process, never hand over your performance reviews to someone else and never hire or fire someone through someone else. You remain the manager or owner. People lose respect for someone who is not involved in these processes.
When you delegate tasks, make sure the task is delegated to the right individual who can handle it, who has the capacity time wise, the ability and experience needed to complete the task properly. Then communicate the task at hand and give clear and concise checklists and deadlines. Then decide how much decision-making power you will allow that specific individual.
Continuous monitoring is needed to keep the individual and task goals aligned. After completing the task, a detailed evaluation should take place so that the individual knows which issues and short falls need work.
When you start to delegate properly and more frequently you will see the benefits. You will have more free time to concentrate on tasks important to you, your staffs’ morale will increase and you will soon have employees and team members that are well trained and skilled. When done correctly this process will not only relieve your own stress but will increase you and your team’s productivity.
New research by the company Korn Ferry Hay Group in Los Angeles showed that women are better in applying the various essential soft skills that they obtained for effective leadership to increase business performance. They determined that women outperform men in 11 of the 12 key emotional intelligence competencies.
Someone recently had coffee with me and while we were talking, she suddenly, out of the blue looked at me and said “when I am around you, I immediately feel energized and positive. I can be in such a depressing state of mind, but after spending a few minutes in your conversation, I feel uplifted and ready to take on the world”. What a nice compliment and what a feeling to know that you are the reason why someone feels charged up to stand up and walk tall.
the pitfalls for Exco members failing to adjust their skillsets
Often, a person becomes the manager because they are technically the best. So basically their technical skills enabled them to reach the level of managing others. Most of the time there is no mentoring of the individual so overnight they’ve become the manager and suddenly everything they knew technically is not as relevant.
Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”
– Timothy Gallwey
To understand a day in the life of a mentor, you need to know what mentorship means. According to Wikipedia, mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The website goes on to say that “Mentorship experience and relationship structure affect the ‘amount of psychosocial support, career guidance, role modeling, and communication that occurs in the mentoring relationships in which the protégés and mentors engaged’”.
There is an old African Proverb that says “it takes a whole village to raise a child.” Investing in our youth is up to all of us.
The 16th of June marks Youth Day 2017. Every year we celebrate Youth Day to recognize the role the youth played and still plays in South Africa. In light of this theme, The Mindspa Institute, a soft skills training company, decided to give something back. “The youth will be our future leaders, it is our responsibility to guide them, to help them and to lead them to greatness”, Elmarie Pretorius, Managing Owner at The Mindspa commented.
Where do you eat your dinner at home? Most will reply “in front of the TV”. It seems that a lot of families have done away with having dinner at the dinner table as a family. But what if we told you that dads can prepare their kids for their future careers by just simply having dinner together without any TV or other distraction? Will you do it? Will you make the extra effort?
It took a few years of experience in top executive positions in South African-owned businesses, to realize that women have a kind of pizzazz… a sort of flair that they bring to any business. Even more so does the South African women. When you think about what our women of this great nation endured, the struggles and fights for equality, it is amazing to know that we as South African women are rated amongst the best in business.
HIV/AIDS is a reality for all South Africans. Statistics show that HIV/AIDS influence the economy and affects businesses nationwide. There is a definite need for educating people in the workplace. Ag-Chem Africa (Pty) Ltd, situated in Silverton, Pretoria, is part of the Rolfes Holdings Ltd Group that develops and manufactures agricultural products. They partnered with the well-known soft skills training company, The Mindspa Institute, to formulate and present such a workshop on Human Sexuality and HIV.
Your mom was right! Mothers have a sixth sense. As a child at home, you become aware of this from an early age. Before she can even catch you in the act, she says: “don’t even think about it”! Who can relate?
The skills moms gain from having kids definitely make them smarter and sharper businesspeople. Some of our best entrepreneurs are mothers. Mothers negotiate constantly with the children and solve problems on a daily basis, while multitasking. Mothers warn their kids to stay out of bad crowds. They warn about negative social influences and try to teach kids how to act in situations that are uncomfortable. When you think about it, mothers teach their kids various social skills which make them either emotionally intelligent or not.
In the report called “The Future of Jobs”, The World Economic Forum identified 10 uniquely human skills, workers will need to acquire by 2020 or they might find their jobs replaced by automation. There is an article on wired.com that said that 200 years ago, almost 70% of the American Workforce lived on farms. Today apparently, only 1% of the jobs are for humans and the rest is done by machines.
The replacement of humans with robots might have closed some job opportunities but also opened new doors with new jobs in different fields in the workplace. But how sure are you that you possess the correct set of skills to remain secure professionally? Previously robots could only do what humans programmed them to do. However, robots are being constantly developed and improved to become ‘smart bots’. Think of your smartphone and what it can do. There is a lot of artificial intelligence all around us.
Walking into a new office or taking over a new team, is daunting, especially when you are the new boss. New faces, smirk attitudes and the judgement in everyone’s eyes can be a bit overwhelming. Top management is also keeping a big brother eye on your performance. The pressure is on. Where do you begin to get your new staff in your corner? How do you motivate staff who doesn’t even know you yet?
It is very important to walk into the new setting with an open mind. All eyes will be on you, so make sure the confidence, assertiveness and true leadership qualities come through. Remind yourself that you are there for a reason. Remind yourself that you were chosen for this task. Then take some time, an hour or two, to set up your office, get the internet going etc., and only then start your first meeting. Although a meeting feels like the best way to say your say and group all the issues under one umbrella, it is not necessarily all that is needed when talking to staff. Ideally you should take the time to talk to your staff individually so that they feel heard and important.
Pt Operational Services (Pty) Ltd implemented their Phambili Campaign in Rustenburg and Pretoria, during the end of March 2017. The Mindspa Institute, proud training partner, developed a series of motivational workshops presented to their toll-gate operators, route patrol drivers, comms clerks and other operational staff.
…without using the labor law as the judge.
If you are a leader reading this article, you probably had an employee undermining your authority. This is a true test of your abilities as a leader. Insubordination shows a lack of respect. How can you handle difficult employees of all types? Remember that one bad apple spoils the batch. Morale will be low if there is even just one employee who shows no or little respect for you. Although the labor law and disciplinary hearings are there for extreme cases, it is hugely beneficial for you as a leader to gain respect needed to drive the team.