You Can’t Do It All! How to Delegate Effectively

It seems that at least once each week I hear the same five words from friends and clients: “I need to delegate more.” And then, immediately afterward, they say, “But I don’t think there’s anybody who will understand my work, take it as seriously as I do, and do a really great job.”As a result, nothing gets delegated and they are left doing everything for themselves.The problem, I’ve discovered, is not a lack of capable and committed people willing to help. It’s that people don’t know how to delegate and perhaps are afraid to let go, even a little. Here’s what I recommend instead on your way to becoming a delegation time creator:1. Do your research. It’s important to know what skills are needed by the person you’re going to hire. Just like hiring an accountant to do your taxes, you’ll want to find someone with expertise. If you need to delegate setting up your newsletter, find someone with experience using Mailer Lite, MailChimp, Constant Contact or a similar program.Delegation of your business needs works the same way as when you’re looking for an auto mechanic or a physician – specific skills are required.2. Take time to plan. You’ve got to give the person doing the work enough time to schedule it into their calendar and get it done. This requires planning ahead. This helps you to get the help you need, when you need it. 3. Provide specific information. “Can you handle this?” is not enough information for the person you’re delegating to – even if it’s a simple and (in your mind) self-explanatory task. Include details, timelines and any supporting information. For example: “I’m ready to publish my next newsletter. Attached is the word document and the images I’d like to use. Can we schedule it for this Friday at 6:00 am?” Be thorough: include deadlines and guidelines about how you’d like the work to be done. Once you get a routine going with delegating your tasks and you get comfortable with each other, you won’t need to always be so detailed. 4. Create check-in and control points. If you’ve delegated a project, schedule check-in points for milestones to make sure things stay on track. Sometimes there can be misunderstandings about the required tasks even when you both think you understand. Regular meetings will help with discovery and allow for adjustments. For example, you can have a quick 15-minute weekly check in to assess where you’re at and if there is any additional information needed.5. Develop a communicative relationship. When you work with someone you are in a relationship with them. I don’t mean you need to be BFFs, but simple things that work in your other relationships will work in this one too. A simple, “Thank you – great job,” or “How was your weekend?” will go a long way. Be sure to answer questions about the project quickly so that it can stay on track and on time. Your work together will require conversation – either written or verbal.My guess is that 99% of the time the person assisting you wants to do a great job. Delegation is a powerful way to leverage your time and get help with areas of your business where you might not have expertise or have time to do. Done well, it can be a big win for you and your business and allow you to focus on growing your business.

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