In the August 2006 issue I gave 10 top tips on How to Delegate. I’m seeing another challenge for entrepreneurs / managers on why they should delegate.
The art of delegating is anything but the practice of “dumping” responsibility off your plate onto someone else. Delegation requires a vision toward maximizing your time and talents by focusing on the right mix of things to achieve your larger objectives. Here are some reasons for dealing out tasks that are best performed by others:
- Frees up your time and energy to perform at a higher level.
- Lets you see more clearly what task or projects need your direct attention.
- Giving responsibility to other in your group fosters team-building. Make sure that the objectives of the responsibilities are clear and agreed to in order to get buy-in.
- Lends a new dimension as to how thing can be done. Can lead to interesting results!
- Builds others’ skills and self esteem. Delegating reflects trust in that person’s ability to perform.
- Delegation reduces delay.
- Creates greater efficiency if tasks are delegated to and performed by individuals with more expertise than you have. No need to reinvent the wheel. There are outside vendors and consultants for just about anything. Don’t overlook in-house expertise.
- Can help get work done on time.
- Skillful delegation creates win-win situations for all involved.
- A good exercise to develop your letting go and trusting.
My hope is that the above-named reasons will encourage you to practice delegating. Your business and life will be that much better for it.
The response from the e-mails I have been receiving shows that one of the major challenges for entrepreneurs / managers is to delegate. Why is it such a challenge? The most common answer is, “It is easier to do it myself.” When you delegate the responsibility to do a project and it’s not successful, the failure is usually due to lack of clear communication about what is required. Here are some tips to help you to start delegating, and gain confidence in doing it:
1. List everything that you can delegate in your business or job.
- Against each item, put the name of the person who you are delegating to.
2. Before delegating any task, set the expectations and ensure that the person understands:
- the outcome that you expect,
- what you want them to do, and how to go about the task,
- the resources they need to do it,
- if training is needed, time will be made for training,
- when the work needs to be completed, and checkpoints if needed,
- that they are accountable for the success of the task.
3. The first time you delegate a task, start with something small.
- When complete, give feedback, and let them know how well they did it.
4. Delegate enough authority so they are able to accomplish the results.
5. Put necessary info in writing and give a copy to the other person.
6. Don’t hover!
- Leave the person alone to do the work, but be available for questions.
7. Agree on checkpoints to keep track of the progress, if needed.
- Give support and direction, but don’t fall into the trap of doing the work.
8. Review and evaluate results at the end or the agreed upon time.
9. Expect results, but not perfection.
- There are many ways to get results, so don’t insist that everyone does it “your way”. They may see a quicker / more effective way of tackling the task! You may be very surprised.
10. Give lots of praise for a job well done.
- If you have given clear instructions at the beginning, you should have a successful outcome.
Congratulate yourself because delegating takes a bit of patience, overcoming fear, building trust and stepping out of the box. It’s well worth it because your rewards are many in the success for you and your business.