Trust is important in any relationship, particularly if you are a leader. Without trust standard operations become difficult and slow. Simple tasks must be checked and rechecked. And small mistakes are big steps backward. As important as it is to earn and maintain the trust of your team and colleagues, it may be more important to trust yourself.
Some would call it self-confidence, but there is more to trusting yourself. You know when you’ve done everything possible to get a job done. You know when you’ve researched, prepared, or invested enough time. But do you know when it is okay to call it a day?
I recently dealt with a task that I could not complete on my own. I needed the input of a team member who was not able to respond in time to meet the deadline. In all of the hours of work and the time waiting, I was questioning and trying to think of a work around.
Ultimately, I had to give in, go home, and trust that I did everything I could to give our team a chance to meet the deadline. I spent a restless night but in the morning, I woke up to a resolution, a deadline met, and the reassurance that comes with a good result.
Here are my rules for knowing when I’ve done all I can, even when there is no resolution:
- Everything has been checked and rechecked.
- Progress and roadblocks alike have been communicated to everyone who can help or needs to know.
- I have explored and suggested contingency plans.
I am not always good at trusting myself but I know it is an important skill to practice because if I can show that I trust myself, others will follow that example.
How do you know when it is okay to call it a day?
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