Are you good at delegating?
Most business owners and executives struggle with delegation. The most common reason is that people feel it takes more time to delegate than to just do it themselves, and the quality of work isn’t as strong.
But delegation can be an extremely valuable tool for success.
There are two major benefits to delegation:
- The first is self-serving: freeing up more of your time so you can focus on the highest and best use of your time; and
- Empowering someone else and helping them to grow.
Delegating is not to be mistaken with abdicating – telling someone to do something and not giving them any direction, so they are almost guaranteed to get it wrong.
Delegation is an investment.
Challenge: Think of one thing you do fairly consistently that takes up a lot of your time. Something that you don’t enjoy doing. Look for a task that isn’t the highest-skilled task you have on your plate.
Identify Your Resistance:
Make a list of your reasons for not delegating this task.
Now compare those with the reasons why you should delegate this task. What would your world look like if you could effectively delegate that task? What if someone else could learn to do that task as well if not better than you? If your answer is exciting for you, then let’s move forward with the process.
What is the most efficient way to delegate the task? Follow these four steps:
STEP 1 – I Do, You Watch
Identify someone with the knowledge, skills and abilities to learn and take on this task. Then ask the person you’ve identified to watch you do the task from start to finish. This takes up no extra time for you, because you will be doing the task anyway.
It would be helpful if you ask your delegatee to document the system in their words as they see it during that first meeting.
STEP 2 – I Do, You Help
Do the task again, but ask the other person to help you. Step 2 shouldn’t take much more time than if you were doing the task alone. Ask your delegatee to review and update their system notes to make sure they are capturing all the details they will need to complete this task.
STEP 3 – You Do, I Help
Have the person take on the task themselves (using their system notes), and you can assist them in completing the task. Ask them questions along the way to find out how much more they need to learn and use this opportunity to train them.
STEP 4 – You Do, I Watch
Have the person complete the task on their own with you as an observer. They should always have their system notes in front of them. Do what you can to just let them go and see if they can figure it out on their own. If they ask you a question, try responding with a question and get them to think. For example, “Check your system notes – what do you think you should do?”
You may worry that this process takes too much time, but remember that you will have to take the time to do this task regardless. How long do you want to keep doing that?
Delegation is one of the biggest opportunities to increase the amount of time and space and freedom we have to focus on the highest and best use of our time.
Do you have a better system for delegation? Leave us a comment.