Hmm, and therein lies the egotism or even the lack of confidence of those who need to share the workload. Many years ago, I too foolishly believed that only I knew how things should be done most effectively in the area of work I was responsible for, others simply couldn’t do it as well or to the same standard as me, surprising how much better the company grew once I started to delegate, trust those around me and act like the director that I’d been employed to be.
Delegating is a critical skill and not an easy one to manage. Often we feel like we should be seen to be under stress with massive workloads, however, efficiency is all about insuring the operation runs smoothly and with direction, if you don’t delegate tasks that others can do, it builds distrust, feeling of reduced worth and despondency.
Here are some simple steps to help you along the path of delegation:
- DUMP THE EGO! – No, you’re not the only person in the whole world that can do that job. Ok, it may not be done to the standard you BELIEVE to be correct or the way that you would do it but we’re all different and with guidance, training and some support someone else can do specific roles and possibly even have the ability to do it faster or even better than you… there’s a thought!
- VOLUNTEERS NEEDED, ANYONE? – You may end up waiting some time for someone to offer to help. If they don’t realise you need assistance, they’ll get on with their own jobs. Think about if someone asked you for YOUR help, would you? More than likely you would so put it out there. Don’t wait for someone to come to you whilst building up your frustration of why no-one’s offering. People can also be fearful of interfering and receiving a reprimand!
- WEAKNESS – It is not a sign of weakness to delegate but strength, know your people and show your trust. Maybe there’s feeling of shame, guilt or wanting your own badge of honour showing what a martyr you are by letting everyone see how you manage to continue handling everything yourself. Be truthful with yourself as to the reason why you don’t delegate, it IS NOT a weakness to delegate but shows signs of trust and responsibility… ok, stick by your thoughts there’s no one responsible enough to hand it to!! Been there, seen it, got the badge and been proved to be totally wrong.
- BE OBJECTIVE NOT PROCEDURAL – Two forms of management, Micro and macro, both equally incorrect in their opposites! Insure you delegate the task and what the outcome is that you’re looking to achieve and show them how to do this and that they can come to you. Indicate that they can do it as they wish but the outcome, the objective is what is at stake here and set SMART goals. Allow sufficient time for them to be innovative in what they are doing or to learn their own way, we do, after all have a prefrontal cortex that allows us to think for ourselves.
- PATIENCE – Are they likely to get it right first time without making a single error? If yes, why didn’t you delegate it ages ago, if not, well, this is the learning curve. Mistakes will likely to be incurred, a line I used in another feature… Thomas Edison commented when he eventually found how to create electric light “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”, don’t assume it will be carried out perfectly first time round as if they already have a track record of success, this isn’t their fault it’s yours for assuming too much without giving the FULL guidance and support needed in the first instance.
- BACK-UP PLAN – If handing tasks that have a deadline, support your delegate with that given task. Remember, they too will probably have other tasks to perform within their day-to-day workload, systems to deal with that aren’t infallible (don’t you just love technology when it goes foul?) and uncertainties that creep in. Approachability is key, let them know that if there is a problem, come to you immediately so between you, you can resolve it but without the fear of reprimand or belittling and certainly without the fear that if it’s not accomplished on time… over to you Jack, it’s ALL yours! Remove this sense of potential fear before it even crops up, if they feel they have your support, they won’t be looking for excuses as to why it failed.
- RECOGNITION – When everything goes well, don’t take all the credit! Bestow credit where it’s due. Your superiors (if there are any) will see how well you manage your team/staff and your delegate will see their worth in not only your eyes but the firm/company’s too and will be more likely to be more confident with handling other such like tasks. Notoriety is a reward in its own right. Also, on this, show your own recognition and gratitude for the work completed, say Thank You and truly show your gratitude, this feeling of appreciation will certainly do you well when the next task comes along.
Coaching to Success understands the complexities that directors/associates/partners and managers undergo, we’re here to help you understand how to let tasks go and the great freedom this allows those who delegate to concentrate on what they should be doing, ie direct or manage the workload.
If this is an area you feel you or members of your team would benefit from, take that first step by speaking to someone who can help you improve the power of delegation and thus becoming even more productive, after all, that’s what coaching is all about so pick up the phone to arrange a free consultation on how we can help, contact Neil (07761 187238) or email firstname.lastname@example.org… We’re here to help, as our motto states “Our business is your success”.
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