Experience Matters: When to Call in the Experts

“Huff, grunt, almost – I think I’ve got it…no!!”

You know that feeling when you’re close – so close – to solving your own logistical/administrative/any-other-type-of-work-problem, all by yourself, when at the last minute, Fate intervenes, and a little voice of reason points out a glaring flaw in the plan that has taken you half the day to put together? You slump back in your chair, deflated, defeated, and pick up the phone – it’s time to call in the experts.

Everyone has their own talent. Maybe you can diagnose tendonitis from the waiting room, detect an over exaggerated workplace injury a mile away, or pick up on an underlying psychosis in an otherwise cool, calm, customer. Perhaps, as an inimitable executive associate, you can format a mail merge with your eyes closed and answer telephones with your spare hand at the same time. Whatever the talent, it is the reason you do so well at your job – after all, we all like to do what we’re good at, right?

Of course, part of any role is doing the little tasks that we don’t necessarily enjoy, but know have to be done so that the workplace continues to run smoothly and clients continue to get results. This is a tedious, unavoidable fact of working life. But when do we stop and recognise that one or some of these benign tasks have turned our workplace malignant?

Cost consciousness and sheer pride sometimes stand in the way of us considering the ancient art of delegation. We think outsourcing will be too expensive, we think asking the junior to add another task to her long list will cause her to implode, and we can’t think of any reason why the current systems can, or should, be improved, because we don’t know how we would go about implementing said improvements and we don’t have the time to figure it out anyway.

But rather than struggling silently (or, in some cases, not so silently) with tasks that prevent you from exercising your true talents and delivering the performance and results you are expected to, perhaps it’s time to think outside the square, and seek assistance. After all, if your accounts officer had a broken shoulder, would they try and treat it themselves? (I hope not).

Asking for help can save time and money in the long run, as it frees up your time to let you get back to more important tasks. Utilising the talents of others is not just time-effective, it’s simply smart. You get a better result from engaging someone whose talent lies in that area that’s holding you up. You don’t have the same angst and frustration as trying to do it yourself. You don’t have the office politics of “sharing the burden” by drawing the short straw. And you don’t even have to think about it. Want expert advice? See the experts!

Re-reading this blog, that reminds me – that light has been flickering for a week now – maybe I need to call an electrician…