There truly is an art to delegation. You WANT to pass a task over to another person, to enable you to free up your time to focus on something else. You NEED to pass it over to someone, as you cannot do everything yourself – however, this opens up a new potential problem… that person may not work how you work or do things in the order you want them to do it in.
Before you delegate out a task, you’ll obviously do your homework. You’ll check that the person IS capable of doing the job or has the necessary skill set need to complete it. So, in reality the art of delegation really boils down to these three steps.
#1: Say what you want
This is where you get REALLY clear on your desired end result. Ensure you pass over all the relevant information – including the start and end points, as well as clarifying they have the necessary skills to complete the task being given to them.
This isn’t about stating ‘I want x, y and z done’ – you need to be clear on what you need and why you need it. For example, ‘I’d like you to complete x, y and z. This is crucial, as we cannot continue with this project until this task is finished.’ You then need to clarify they are actually happy to do this task.
#2: State when you need it by
Part of giving them all the information is clarifying they can complete it in the timescale you need – so make sure you actually let them know when you need it by! You can then clarify again, that they’re ok to complete it in the timescale needed.
#3: Let it go
The true art of delegation is learning to TRUST – both that the task will get completed (your desired end result) and that the person will do it to the best of their ability (faith that others can do a good a job as you).
It’s normal for you to want to keep an eye on progress – but this doesn’t have to mean you micromanaging the task! Clarify when you are handing the task over that you would like to be kept informed of progress AND state what that means to you. This includes clarifying whether you’d like weekly or monthly updates, how you’d like those updates and what they need to do if they have any questions or problems.
Delegating doesn’t have to be stressful or disappointing. Just stick to these three steps and make sure you ALL know what is expected… and you’ll get the end results you require.
Do you find delegating easy or have you been putting it off? What one action step can you take to start delegating work out? What one task is going to be the first one you will delegate out? Why not share your thoughts and advice on delegation in the comments box below?
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