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The art of Delegation – How am I supposed to do that?


Last time we looked at why we delegate (click here for a reminder)  and I promised you we would follow up with how to effectively delegate; so you start getting the most out of yourself and your people as fast as possible.

The first challenge surrounds what you get someone else to do! It seems simple enough however when faced with many different options, it is easy to fall at this first step and decide against the much needed help and keep doing it all yourself.

This can be a reflection on the business and can mirror a similar reflection of the business owner, few of us like to face what we label as ‘flaws’ – here’s some common ones:-

  • Is the business as ‘organised’ as it could be?
  • How can the work be split for best results?
  • Is my ability to train them good enough?
  • Can I identify exactly what I want people to do?
  • Can I manage myself better to make sure we all improve as a result?
  • How do I make sure I can pay them?

So the thought of delegation (and we are still only thinking about it) suddenly and often becomes the doubting of one’s own ability rather than that of the people you hope to hire, and the focus is taken completely off the people you hope to serve.

  • Let’s consider the two big choices:
    • By doing nothing, we look forward to the same frustrations in the future that we have today, and with an extended period of time devoted to ‘what we know we should not be doing’ the future just looks bleak.
    • If we bring on someone with better organisational skills that we have, we’ll be able to do more of the work we love and help more people.

Superb idea, right? Richard Branson surrounds himself with people better and more knowledgeable than himself, so if it’s good enough for Richard…..

How do we find the courage to ask for help?

Delegation is about working with people until you are happy that they can go it alone – it is not about abdicating the tasks you don’t want to do, or can’t do. It is about investment for progress and make no mistake, at the start it will involve your time and your training skills!

Before we look at the delegation process I want to share a simple training tip that I have found extremely useful on many occasions:

  1. Tell them what to do and why it needs done
  2. Show them how to do it (I do it)
  3. Let them try (we do it)
  4. Observe and help them (you do it)
  5. Praise progress

Now here is the art of Delegation in four simple steps:

  • Stage One
    • Directing – meeting frequently and working together. You are showing them what to do and investing time to ensure you are transferring your skills and knowledge in a way that is being understood.
  • Stage Two
    • Coaching –meeting less frequently and continue to provide guidance towards the goals they are working towards. You are working together when necessary.
  • Stage Three
    • Supporting – meeting to check in, follow up and make sure that the goals are being progressed. Listening and supporting with any issues and challenges that arise.
  • Stage Four
    • Delegating – They own it now and we just check to confirm completion is on target. This stage happens when you are happy they know exactly what to do and can do it confidently on their own.

Now that you are confident that the task is trained and being done to your satisfaction, you can move on to the next one, each time freeing some more time up for yourself.

The alternative, the one where nothing changes, leaves you with a darker future than you have right now and this is not what you started out in business for.

When is the best time to start? Now of course, because now is the only time you ever have.

Till the next time,

Kind Regards,

Jane Quinn

P.S. One more thing…..don’t keep us a secret, please share this.

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