'Be More Productive' (part 2) Project Management Blog by Jason Womack

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far ... go together!

Once, while meeting clients at the Jack Welch Learning Center (Crotonville NY) I remember my colleague saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far go together.” It impacted me deeply and made me think about:

  • Who I spend time with
  • Who I need to spend time with and
  • Who I should spend a little less time with.

Of course there is so much that we do during a typical day and often times it is faster if we 'just do it'. However, over time there may be some things that we need to practice delegating so that we can effectively train the people around us how to help us.

1. “Who’d like to help me on this?” 

Yes, it sounds simple, but it’s not simplistic! Do the people around you know what you're working on? I'm not just talking about work! I remember the first time in my professional life (14 years ago) that I wrote down every single significant aspect of work that I was managing during that year. I was a high school teacher at a time and I had a fairly objective set of work projects to oversee but on that list there were 137 items!

I showed that list to my wife; her first response was, “Jason, I had no idea you were managing that much!” Her second response floored me. She said: “How can I help you find ways to manage more of this in less time?” Since then I've made it a habit to show my list of 'Things I'm working On' to people I work with, trust and look up to. Sometimes they see things I've missed or even offer to help!

2. Send someone a request that is SMART. 
When it comes time to hand something off, it’s got to be SMART:  Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely. Start by delegating small and very specific actions/parts of projects.

Over the next week, practice on some small things. Pick a piece of the project, research, development or organization that you can ask someone to do for you.

3. Reinforcement is key.
Remember reinforcement is a key to teamwork and upleveling the support you can ask for and expect moving forward. Positive reinforcement, or as Ken Blanchard taught me: Catch them doing something right, goes a long way in going further, by going together. It’s important to keep track, especially if you have a multi-member team, or you’re the manager of the group, so that on occasion (weekly or monthly?) you can acknowledge the wins, in private or publicly.

Find ways to incorporate a 'Team Mentality' into the work you do, the projects you manage and the teams you work with. Go further…by going together.

Human performance psychologist Jason W. Womack, MEd, MA provides an overview of highly effective workplace performance practices. As an author and executive coach, Jason works throughout the Americas and EMEA to improve workflow and efficiency, coaching senior management and providing sustainable workplace methodologies to front, mid, and back-office support staff.

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