How NOT to delegate

It can be really difficult, when you’re working for yourself, to manage everything on your own. Difficult though it seems, we can easily get into the trap of getting used to it… and when it comes to delegating, we struggle to let go and get extra help in.

So if you’ve made the decision to delegate or outsource some of your workload – congratulations on making that decision – but now you need to learn HOW to delegate, as there’s a right and wrong way to delegate!

#1: Micro-managing the work

The biggest mistake people make when delegating is not truly passing the work over. They want to micro-manage the process – leaving the other person feeling frustrated and watched the entire time.

The correct way to delegate the work is to pass the task over to the other person, fill them in on essential details (as below) – before leaving them to get on with it.

#2: Leaving room for guesswork and assumptions

delegateAnother mistake people make when delegating is they leave out essential information. They pass the task over, but neglect to fill the recipient in on the criteria, guidelines and necessary strategies that may need to be followed.

If you want to delegate the right way, ensure you pass over ALL guidelines and criteria, BEFORE the recipient has started the task – otherwise, you’ll end up disappointed with the end result and they’ll end up feeling as though they failed the task.

#3: Working to the ‘when it’s done’ deadline

Another essential that gets missed out when delegating tasks is the actual end date! Tasks get passed over with a simple ‘let me know when you’ve finished it’ or ‘just fit it in whenever’ – when in reality you need it by a certain date.

The correct way to delegate out the work is to give them all of the information they need – including a deadline – so the recipient can work out the best use of their time AND manage their workload effectively to the time limits they have.

#4: It’s important ‘because I said so’

When you delegate work out there can be an element of ‘you’re doing this because I said so’. Delegating tasks isn’t about being controlling or bossing another person – it’s about getting the tasks completed to the best of a person’s abilities.

delegateGive the recipient the bigger picture on WHY this task is important. Is it part of an even bigger project? Is it a fundamental stepping stone towards the launch of a certain product or the start of a series of products and services? Share the whole picture with the person you delegate the task out to.

#5: You’re getting this job because I don’t want to do it myself

One of the worst things you can do when delegating out work, is to tell the other person they’re only getting this task because you don’t want to do it yourself. Whether that’s actually true or not is irrelevant – it will only make the person feel under-appreciated and taken advantage of.

The best thing you can do is make that person feel appreciated and worthy of this task. If you think they’re the best person for this task – tell them. If you think they have the necessary skills and you don’t – let them know.

Delegating can be hard for the solo-preneur, but it can also be hard for the recipient – if you don’t learn how to delegate out the workload in a positive way. Use these five tips to ensure you learn how to properly delegate – and learn to let go of the ‘I can do it all’ mentality!

How do you find delegating tasks out? Do you struggle to truly let go of each task or are you happy to pass tasks out to others? What one tip can you share to help others who struggle with delegation? Why not leave your comments and advice in the comments box below.

Images © dizain (feature), iQoncept & dNenov Brothers/Dollar Photo Club

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