The Art of Delegation
How often do you get to the end of a working day and wonder where the time went? Maybe you never even got to item 3 on your to do list, or even item 1!! How can you solve this problem without simply working longer hours? The answer is actually very simple; but the art in the solution is where the gold is.
Of course, the answer to free up time is to delegate more – either to existing team members, new people you recruit or externally to outside contractors. However, if delegation was that easy everyone would be doing it by now, right?
So, what is the art of delegation? We say art because delegation is not an exact science; different approaches are needed depending on who the ‘delegatee’ is. Time and effort is required to effectively pass on tasks to others. Often the initial time the delegator needs to put in is greater than if they did the work themselves – that’s why so many people don’t delegate. The view that it’s quicker for you to do it yourself holds you trapped and unable to be more productive and effective yourself. It also stops others from developing better ways to do things than you already know i.e. if you teach them your way then they can master that AND add their own value – 2 minds being better than 1.
Here are some essential principles to apply to help you to delegate (as opposed to abdicate!):
1. Assess the task, issue to the right person and support – Helps to build trust and respect
2. Be specific and crystal clear with communications – Helps to be a better communicator
3. Request they repeat back instructions, so I know I was understood – Helps increase productivity
4. Set a time frame and request clarification task has been achieved – Helps to make sure jobs are completed on time
5. Clear and same expectations – Helps you have happy clients and customers
6. Both parties to review – Helps future work
1. Issue task to anyone and forget about it – Causes distrust and lack of respect
2. Give unclear and little information – Causes the message to get lost
3. Don’t ask if I was understood – Causes low productivity
4. Don’t set a time frame – Causes jobs to get delayed
5. Different expectations – Causes unhappy customers and clients
6. No review – Causes future work to repeat the same mistakes
Delegation is a skill to be learned, applying these principles consistently will ensure long term success. Check out the template below to get you thinking about all facets required to delegate successfully. It includes:
- What do you want to delegate
- Who to
- What training is needed
- Your expected outcome
- Following up and keeping updated
If you’d like coaching yourself or for your leadership team the team at Bizdom are happy to book a session with you. After all, practice creates habits. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to organise a time.