By Rachel Schwarz
I have always been someone who takes on more than I can handle. I take the lead on group projects, never turn down a job opportunity, and often sacrifice sleep at the expense of getting something done right. It’s okay to give up some of the responsibility in order to get everything done.
Delegation and communication go hand in hand. Attempting too many projects ends in a headache and a less-than-stellar job on all of them. Completing big projects that are satisfactory requires teamwork. Dividing up a project into smaller, more manageable pieces will help make everyone feel like an important part of the team. The more involved team members feel, the more likely they are to take pride in their work.
Whether you’re the team leader or not, a properly delegated project will include everyone. Each member’s input will add value to the end result, and they will feel more motivated if they feel more included. So, are you taking too much control over your projects at work, planning all of the parties for your friends, or taking care of 100% of the housework? Split it up between everyone, and you’ll all feel more accomplished at the end of the day.
Mel Zuckerman, co-founder of the award-winning Canyon Ranch Spa, has puzzled for over 30 years on the question, “Who makes sustainable change and who does not?”
At Canyon Ranch, his goal is to help people live happier and healthier lives, yet, he notices that there’s a disconnect between what people know and what they do.
Nancy Kaplan, a dear friend, attended “Letters From Einstein – Equation for Change,” which I presented to the American Association of Orthodontists in Washington, D.C. My keynote on how we jump out of our deeply rooted habits prompted her to send me Mel’s article, “Creating Sustainable Change.”
He says that a new field of behavioral research may provide the answer. He calls that field SDT – self-determination theory.
There are three components:
Autonomy — A person makes his or her own decision for his or her own reasons.
Competence — A person’s ability to have confidence in the process and be able to seek appropriate help.
Relatedness — A connection with others that provide a place with mutual respect and understanding.
At the heart of Zuckerman’s article lies the fundamental reason on how one can create change: focusing on intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation. Sustainable change will happen when the individual figures out the intrinsic reason for change.
He sites a study of obese young people who were more motivated to lose weight and maintain their weight loss by their desire to be healthy. Less success was documented for those who were motivated to be more attractive, an extrinsic goal.
Zuckerman writes, “SDT identifies intrinsic goals such as personal growth, physical health, and relationships as being more satisfying goals than the extrinsic ones of being more attractive, acquiring wealth, or having fame.”
Developing the intrinsic motivation — and aligning behavior with these intrinsic goals — provides the combination that can lead to sustainable change.