The Secrets To Delegating Effectively
“The business owner’s plate is always full because they’re not delegating their tasking, they’re tasking out and then getting everything back on their plate to review it.” – Amalie Shaffer
Have you tried to be more productive by delegating tasks only to find that now your time is taken by the endless questions from the people you’ve delegated the tasks to?
This problem is more common than you think – and there is a fix for it.
Tasking Vs. Delegating – what are the differences?
Tasking and delegating are two words that people use interchangeably but are actually pretty different. Tasking means giving someone something to do, but this person keeps coming back to you to ask questions, permissions or next steps. It means assigning an outcome to another individual without the permission or authority to make decisions – it’s basically someone who is an extension of you.
On the other hand, delegating is releasing the responsibility and putting it onto the person you’ve given the task to. It’s giving ownership of the outcome to the individual. Ownership doesn’t mean solely designating who to blame if things go wrong. It means assigning the goal of the outcome to another individual: telling them the desired outcome, giving them the resources to do it, when it needs to be completed and the scope of authority they need to be able to make the necessary decisions required to complete it.
Which one is the best option for me?
Usually, delegating works better and faster because there’s. if done correctly, less back and forth with the business owner. In fact, the less involved the business owner is, the better; it requires adequate quality control to be in place.
A 2007 study on time management found that close to half of the 332 companies surveyed were concerned about their employees’ delegation skills. However, at the same time, only 28% of those companies offered any training on the topic. “Most people will tell you they are too busy to delegate — that it’s more efficient for them to just do it themselves,” says Carol Walker, the president of Prepared to Lead, a consulting firm that focuses on developing young leaders.¹ But doing it all themselves just brings on more headaches and disorganization than needed.
Guidelines on how to delegate
For delegating to work, you need to provide your team with the following:
- A clear understanding of the job that will be done
- Resources, details, and information they might need
- Permission to make decisions
- Standard operating procedures (SOP)
- Final revision with at least another person
Permission to make decisions (ownership) is probably the biggest hang-up people have with delegating. Unless you give them a step by step procedure they have to follow, you need to be fine with letting this person make decisions by themselves. Keep in mind that there can be more than one right way to do something, so if this person does something completely different than the way you would do it, but still gets the result you want in the time you want, it shouldn’t matter how they did it. If it does matter, then an SOP needs to be in place because you tell them exactly how they need to do it and there’s a reference for them to follow to make sure that they are getting it done exactly how you want it done.
Mistakes will be made
Another key part of delegating tasks is knowing how to deal with mistakes. If someone makes a mistake, you want them to openly talk to you and tell you. It’s important to address mistakes in a positive way, starting with what they did right, and then ask them questions to get them to come up with how they should have done it, rather than just telling them the answer.
Dealing with mistakes in a negative way makes people less likely to come to you when they’ve made a mistake, which can create internal stress inside your team and make them afraid to come to talk to you, which you never want to happen.
One way to positively deal with mistakes is by asking them questions to get them to figure out how they should have done instead of just telling them the answer.
People are your greatest asset
Relying on team members is amazing. In order to effectively delegate, you need checks and balances in place to have other team members make sure everyone is on track. Doing so prevents obvious mistakes from going any further, and it will also allow you to be a little more removed from the day to day operations and focus on bigger management tasks.
So this sums up the most important facts about delegating. If done right, delegating can take a huge weight off your shoulders, eliminating day to day bottlenecks that consume time and resources, and make your business become more stable and grow faster than before.
If you’d like to know more details about the secrets to delegating effectively, give our podcast a listen right here
¹ Source: Gallo, Amy (2012, July 15) Why Aren’t You Delegating? Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2012/07/why-arent-you-delegating
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