Director's Message: Do you do it all, or delegate?
The majority of dental hygienists, dental assistants, and dental administrative personnel are women. Worldwide, there is an increasing number of women dentists. Many working women (entrepreneurs, business owners, and or professionals) are influenced by the conflict of trying to balance their careers/businesses with the competing responsibilities of marriage, homemaking, adult caregiving, and/or childrearing.
The majority of dental hygienists, dental assistants, and dental administrative personnel are women. Worldwide, there is an increasing number of women dentists.
Many working women (entrepreneurs, business owners, and or professionals) are influenced by the conflict of trying to balance their careers/businesses with the competing responsibilities of marriage, homemaking, adult caregiving, and/or childrearing.
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However, by spending time and energy working to create “I can do it all” fantasy nirvanas of your personal and work domains, we lose precious time to focus on the relationships. That is why creating a team makes so much sense; we get to do what we do best (and love to do the most), and delegate the rest. That is also why women are recognizing the need to spend more time perfecting their area of specialization and building better relationships with their various stakeholders and collaborators — and less time on domestic, administrative, and/or basic business processes.
Logic for delegating
Delegating can maximize the efficiency of all of your resources — people, time, money, and energy — because you can focus on the primary purpose of your business/career and use your unique skill sets. In the meantime, other people and/or companies with different primary purposes and skill sets (for example, practice management, accounting, human resources, web design, or information technology) can do what they do best. It is a win-win situation for everyone.
In addition, the ability to be laser-focused on your specialization enhances and increases your credibility, and you become more attractive to people who are looking for the precise solution that you or your company offer.
A delegating attitude
Delegating requires an attitude shift and a willingness to surrender some control. It can feel uncomfortable at first, and that is what leaves some women stuck at the same level year after year.
Examine your hesitation. What are your concerns about delegating? Here are two common objections:
- Can’t do it as well as I can. Many women feel that no one can “do” it as well as they do. Whether it is changing a diaper, cleaning a house, sending an invoice, etc.
- What will they think? Business owners may worry what their patients, clients, staff, colleagues, and friends and family will think about the decision to delegate.
With each of these concerns and any others you may have, spend a moment to answer the question, “What’s the worst thing that could happen when I delegate?” Then ask, “If this was no longer a problem, what opportunity would I be free to pursue? It can help to determine if the sky-is-falling worries are really valid.
Baby Steps to Delegating
- Where are you being sidetracked? What’s draining you? Is it administrative tasks, house cleaning, sales, marketing, technical support, accounting, human resources, IT, or something else?
- Start small and grow. Test the delegating process before launching ahead. Keep in mind that someone still needs to manage the process. The process may take some time and experimentation to perfect. Initially, it may seem that it is taking more time than you are saving. Learn from these early efforts and use them to craft process maps to follow as you grow your delegating strategies.
- Crystalize your needs and communicate clearly. Verify you understand each other, don’t make any assumptions, and put everything in writing.
Are you ready to do what you do best and delegate the rest? The move to delegating and decluttering your “to-do” list takes an attitude shift, some preparation, and a learning curve. At the end of it all, though, you will emerge with a stronger focus on the primary purpose of your business, career, and/or family life. Moreover, it might just be the answer to upgrading your business and career.
Kristine A. Hodsdon, RDH, MSEC
Director, RDH eVillage
Kristine’s Disclosures: Kristine’s website is http://www.kristineahodsdon.com and she is a practice management consultant and trainer with Pride Institute.