Passing on responsibilities – relieved, grateful and just a little hurt

a child, in a pink top, sulking with a very pouty top lip.Today’s blog is about how it feels to pass on responsibilities – call it delegation, team work, spreading the load, call it what you will.

It’s not about how to do it or why to do it. It’s about how you feel when you’ve passed on stuff that’s very close to you and however sensible, right and proper it all is, you notice that part of you hurts a bit.

I’ve been working on a project for 6 months or so. It’s really stretched me – I’ve learnt new things, had to dig deep and manage some difficult situations, worked at a scale and in a field I’ve never experienced before. And I’ve loved it.

And now we are moving into a new part of the project – its huge, way bigger than any of the previous parts (and they were big enough). So naturally, the team has expanded. And some of the things I did before are now being done by someone else.

The most overwhelming feeling is one of relief. There was a huge amount to hold and to handle and I can feel in my shoulders how great it is to have someone take on some of that. But under that, if I’m honest, there’s a bit of hurt.

I’ve been trying to work out why I feel this and I think it’s actually a very natural feeling.

The little girl in me feels usurped. She’s crying out for attention and recognition.

Luckily, the adult in me is hugely relieved that she is no longer trying to do something massive she’s not experienced in under a huge spotlight, that her list of things to do has dropped by about 4 pages and delighted that she can learn, learn, learn.

I’m quite glad that the little girl is there though. She reminds me that I care, that I’m passionate, that this project really matters to me.

I’m also delighted that my adult has kicked in so quick and I’m finding it easy to pass over stuff and be as helpful and supportive as I can.

Don’t be misled though. I’ve plenty of stuff on my plate still, and need all of me pulling together to deliver it. And my little girl and my adult? Well, I‘m taking them out for a massive drink (or equally massive ice cream sundae) when the next week is over, to thank them both for being there for me. Oh and also I’m buying an extra round for the person who is taking on the work too – boy, do they deserve it.

Image by aka Kath and remember if you have enjoyed this and want to read more, you can subscribe to Jo Verrent’s blog by email.

2 thoughts on “Passing on responsibilities – relieved, grateful and just a little hurt

  1. Is there also a nagging feeling that someone else won’t do things in quite the way that you would have done? I always find when delegating work or passing it on that (no matter how capable the person taking over), I feel a slight sense of regret (irritation?) that it won’t be done *exactly* as I would want it. It’s something I’ve learned to overcome, though!

  2. I am bracing myself for some of these feelings! Though on a smaller scale, interviewing and then appointing for my previous position has been challenging, I think my expectations of the new person are quite high and I am aware I am using the strengths of this person to alliviate my guilt at leaving that job. So I am hoping that I dont put too much pressure on them!

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