It is amazing the number of people who want to hand over a job to someone else so they have more time to do other work yet expect the job to be done EXACTLY as they would do it … And then blame the other person when they don’t live up to expectations.

Letting go of your ‘baby’ can be hard because someone else just won’t do it as well as you!

And you are exactly right … because they will not do it exactly as you do: it is an impossible ask because they are not you, not even close to a clone of you!

So what is going on here when a person is so protective of their work and their position that they hold back or even stop other people and themselves from developing more potential.

Some would say it is being power hungry or a control freak or just being self-centred. Whatever is it, it holds back the growth of a business and the people in it. And the result is people not making decisions because they are too scared in case they get it wrong or it’s never good enough so why bother if someone is going to come along and redo it anyway.

Then they are accused of not taking initiative, when the reality is that they have been punished or observed others being punished rather than rewarded for making decisions and taking action.

And for the person holding the control of the work others do…well they have all the reasons under the sun for why they need to keep their employees under a close watch.

And these reasons lead to one thing…a lack of trust.

It is expressed as a lack of trust for others when in fact it is a lack of trust in themselves to let go and trust others.

Again there could be numerous reasons why there is a lack of trust and there is no judgement here. What is here, is a recognition that there is more to the situation than meets the eye. Most people in this situation don’t even realise that is it happening, they are doing the best they can do yet inadvertently not allowing others to do the best they can do.

If this is sounding familiar to your workplace and you are finding yourself being overly critical of the work other people do and you struggle to let go of the work you used to do or you know you are over controlling and you don’t know how to start turning this around then here is one suggestion.

What you can do is share your thoughts and your processes, to combine this with how you do the task you now want others to do. The purpose is to help others learn the standards at which you want the work done.

But this will not happen if it all stays in your head and you are the controller of all information.

People are not mind readers, they are thought guessers, and if you want to leave your business in the hands of guessers then be the keeper of all knowledge and watch your business have struggle after struggle.

Remember this is a process particularly when someone is learning something new or there is a significant change to the way they used to do it.

The other side to teaching people how you what things done, is being open to the suggestions others can bring. Who knows, it just might make a huge difference to the effectiveness of your business and it certainly creates an environment for building trust.

To help you start sharing knowledge, here are some ways you can capture the standards you work at so others can learn from you. And remember the list below can be used by others so you can learn too.

  1. Write the procedure – a bit traditional, but necessary depending on the environment and accessibility to other mediums.
  2. Develop a simple flow chart.
  3. Create a picture board with instructions.
  4. Create an audio – have someone interview you or record yourself talking through the steps.
  5. Have someone record you doing the task or your training of a person.

One late thought: No matter what the medium is, if it is not easy to use and relevant, then it won’t be used by others so keep it simple as much as possible.

Diane Gray

Culture, Systems, People

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