Michael Sterling

3 Workplace Sanity-Savers


You may have heard the saying, “Crazier than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockers.” If this describes your average day at the office, these 3 workplace sanity-savers are for you!


Unless you work alone, an easy life-hack to calming daily chaos is – Delegation.  The “It Takes a Village” principle extends beyond parenting. Use your village – or team – wisely.


3 Workplace Sanity-Savers


  1. Downward Delegation. This may sound like a yoga position, but it’s actually a great way to use the skills of junior staff members to make your life easier. Additionally, by providing opportunities to handle a variety of task and projects, junior staff members are able to grow and learn. Delegating down is an ideal way to groom future leaders.
  2.  Upward Delegation. It’s a common belief that delegating is only available to those in leadership positions. Wrong. No matter where you are on the career ladder, delegating is a smart and efficient way to achieve success. By delegating up, you tap a more experienced colleague to assist with a project or task. This not only enables you to move a project forward, but allows you to gain valuable insight and professional growth.
  3. Lateral Delegation. Reaching out to another team member and engaging them in helping to complete an assignment is the core foundation of teamwork. Working together and utilizing a colleague’s expertise and professional strengths results in a better end product. Setting competitiveness aside and working jointly showcases workplace maturity and leadership soft skills.


You May be Doing it Wrong


If you’re of the mindset that delegating doesn’t work – you may be doing it wrong. Tossing a task to another team member on the fly is bound to end badly. For delegating to be successful, these key elements must be in place.


  • Clear Communication. Clearly communicate all instructions as well as goals and expectations. Expecting others to read your mind or have a detailed understanding of the project without proper guidance is merely a recipe for disaster.


  • Culture of empowerment. The team member being asked to assist will need appropriate autonomy to make decisions necessary to complete the tasks. Requiring someone to ask permission, or check-in, at every step simply brings the task back to rest on your plate.


  • No Dumping Zone. Delegating the dirty jobs – the mundane tasks or those which require someone to clean up mistakes is a team buster rather than a team builder. Dumping unwanted jobs on others leads to distrust. It will also likely lead to resignations – which could leave you with a team member’s work, as well as your own, once they’re gone!


  • Let Go. Once you delegate – step back. Micro-managing will keep you and the person to whom you delegated from being productive. Holding the reins tightly, pulls the project to a halt.


  • Invest in the Big Picture. Done correctly, delegating is an investment in your, and your firm’s, future. Investing the time to share your knowledge downward as well as reaching upward and outward, for the expertise of others around you, is a long-term win. The more you delegate, the more you gain in personal productivity, knowledge, team growth and even client satisfaction.


Career Wellness

Interested in more career nutrition? Check out the Career Wellness section of the SterlingFreeman website. 


SterlingFreeman offers career coaching and recruiting exclusively for Public Accountants. Seeking a new Public Accounting opportunity? View our full list of premier positions nationwide. And connect with me on LinkedIn. I welcome your comments. 



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