Melanie Musson is a team lead editor with USInsuranceAgents.com. She runs programs and activities, which led her to start delegating to get the best results.
Her journey as an editor began when Melanie Musson was still a young adult. A friend of hers asked her to read through his novel. While reading, she discovered that she “had a knack for editing.”
For several years, Melanie Musson continued to work for her author friend. Her work led her to find a job as an editor and writer with USInsuranceAgents.com.
At USInsuranceAgents.com, Melanie Musson was “able to take on more responsibility and enter a leadership role.”
However, working on her career presented its share of trouble to Melanie Musson. She says that she “thought about giving up several times.” She had “even wanted to give up before I started.”
Part of this trouble was Melanie Musson lacking confidence in her ability. This lack of confidence made her consider quitting when she “was first hired, before I had any training.”
Melanie Musson thought she “might rather live with myself quitting and wondering if I could have made it than actually being unable to do the job.”
Fortunately, Melanie Musson found the support she needed from her husband. He reminded her that “I could trust myself and my abilities.” His confidence in her allowed her to “find my confidence in myself.”
I also learned that kindness is the key to open communication. Melanie Musson
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Melanie Musson: As a young adult, a friend asked me to read through a novel he had written. It turned out that I had a knack for editing.
I continued to work for him for several years and that led to me become an editor and writer with USInsuranceAgents.com.
I was able to take on more responsibility and enter a leadership role.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Melanie Musson: I thought about giving up several times. I even wanted to give up before I started.
When I was first hired, before I had any training, I thought about quitting because I did not have confidence in my ability.
I thought I would embarrass myself. I thought I might rather live with myself quitting and wondering if I could have made it than actually being unable to do the job.
My husband believed in me and reminded me that I could trust myself and my abilities. His confidence in me helped me find my confidence in myself.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Melanie Musson: I kept asking my questions to the owner of the company rather than my immediate supervisor.
I’m sure I drove him crazy with all my technical questions.
Once my manager reached out to me and welcomed open communication, I started to catch on to what I should be doing and I finally asked my questions to the appropriate person.
I learned that the owner was gracious and did not belittle me and those are qualities of a good leader. I also learned that kindness is the key to open communication.
Because my manager was welcoming, I felt I could converse freely.
You need to know your team. Melanie Musson
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you please share your “Five Things You Need To Know To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results?” Please share a story or an example for each.
Melanie Musson: You need to know your team.
If you have a team of writers and one has experience as a zookeeper and another is a skilled musician, you need to know which one will be better able to write an article on bears in captivity.
That’s a very obvious and basic example, but the better you know your team, the better you’ll be able to delegate to take advantage of their strengths.
Give clear instructions. If you want something done a certain way, spell it out. If you expect to receive daily updates, you’ll need to communicate that.
If you want a certain procedure followed, write out that procedure. If you instruct someone to “contact” another company, you may be frustrated when they email that company because you thought they should call them.
If you wanted them to call, then you should have instructed them specifically to “call.”
Do not micromanage. No one likes a superior looking over their shoulder. It makes them feel nervous and frustrated.
Trust is important and micromanaging shows you do not trust the person you delegated a task to.
Once you’ve clearly given instructions, take a step back and work on something else.
You won’t free up your time by delegating if you spend just as long micromanaging as you would have spent doing the task yourself.
Encourage your team. Encouragement builds confidence. Confidence leads to empowerment.
You want an empowered team that is able to successfully complete what you have delegated. Praise strengths and accomplishments.
When a team member successfully executes a task, praise them on specific ways they excelled. Appreciation goes a long way in keeping morale up.
A happy employee will do a better job.
Be approachable. Strive to be a leader who is friendly and dependable.
If you’ve delegated a task but your team is afraid of you, they will think twice about asking you a question.
If you’re friendly, they’ll be more likely to ask what they need to so that they understand your vision and can then accomplish the task the way you needed it done.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Melanie Musson: You can check out USInsuranceAgents.com.
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!