You’re beginning to scale and grow, great! Not so fast! You are beginning to feel overwhelmed and buried. You have way too much to do, and it feels like you might be on a gerbil wheel as you tackle everything in your business…. And your life. There is always delegation, Yes, you know it’s important to do, it will save you time and help others develop new skills.
So why aren’t you doing it?
Delegation is a critical skill
“Your most important task as a leader is to develop so that your business doesn’t go to hell if you take a day off. Delegation benefits you… and your team whether you have 2 or more employees. Yet it remains underutilized and underdeveloped by owners and their team. “Most people will tell you they are too busy to delegate — that it’s more efficient for them to just do it themselves. Sound familiar?
How to Effectively Delegate
Watch for warning signs
You may not realize you’re unnecessarily hoarding work. “A classic sign of poor delegation: working long hours and feeling indispensable. Simultaneously, your staff is disengaged and lacks energy. You may also feel that you’re the only one that cares about growing the business through all your different strategies. Do you find yourself saying “I’m happy to help you with this?” This may be an indication that you’re not delegating.
Understand why you’re not delegating
There are plenty of reasons why you don’t delegate. Feeling it’s easier to do everything themselves and ensure it is correct. Subconsciously owners, directors or other managers might not delegate because they believe that passing on work will detract from their own importance. No matter how self-aware you are, you are like to have these tendencies. Instead, ask yourself what you’re going to do to balance these out. Shifting from these behaviors can be extremely difficult. “Giving up being ‘the go-to expert’ takes tremendous confidence and intention. Accepting that you can’t do everything yourself is a critical first step to delegating.
Identify what can be delegated
Once you’ve recognized what’s standing in your way, the next step is to adjust your behavior. However, very few people know what to change or how to change it. First find out how you spend your day? (Action Item below)
STEPS in DELEGATION
Once you have identified the items, tasks, etc to delegate here are the steps:
- Choose the right people
It’s important that you pass on work to people who have the necessary skills and motivation to complete the job accurately. Ideally, you should be able to delegate some form of work to everyone on your team. This frees up time to focus on critical staff development.
- Integrate delegation into what you already do
Build delegation into part of your process while creating staff development plans. Incorporate into the Job ScoreCard and /or make it a part of the regular discussion. Make sure it’s written down. This helps engage staff as they clearly understand how it fits into the mission of the job and business.
- Ask others to hold you accountable
Give your staff permission to call you out when you haven’t delegated something you should. Also, let them know that they’re responsible for their own growth. Encourage them to Identify projects that build themselves and the business.
- Let Go!
After you delegate, observe and support your staff. Don’t dictate what they do. Don’t make decisions for them. “If you want people to learn, permit mistakes and support their ability to correct them. Conversely, It’s possible to be too hands off. Don’t walk away from a task you’ve delegated. Stay involved but let your employee lead the way.
- Learn from experience
Once you’ve started delegating more, pay attention to the results.
- Can I delegate more tasks?
- Should I give more freedom?
- Do I need to monitor progress more closely?
Be patient. “You’re shifting from the mindset of ‘I’m going to do everything because I know better than everyone to ‘I’m going to help people develop mindset.”
Principles to Remember
- Take note of warning signs, if you’re overwhelmed and your team members don’t seem to have enough to do
- Review team’s development goals frequently to easily identify opportunities to delegate
- Ask your staff to call you out when you haven’t delegated enough
- Assume that you aren’t biased about another people’s performance
- Assign projects or tasks, then micromanage them
- Be impatient — review what is working
ACTION: For One Week: Keep a daily diary of how you spend your time, track it every 30-60 min. You’ll start to see patterns. “You’re likely to find that a lot of time is spent on low-leverage activities that should be delegated,”