How to delegate effectively
Many people are ambiguous about delegating. I often come across myths on this subject, and here are the most common ones:
- Only big bosses who have a whole office of subordinates can afford to delegate.
- When you delegate, you need to constantly control how the job is being done. As a result, you get even more work instead of less work.
- If you want something to be done right, do it yourself.
Of course, delegation is a certain risk. But when you do not delegate, you take even greater risks because you may get such results:
- tons of routine that you can’t get out of
- permanent stress
- constant lack of time and energy
Let’s try to figure out how you can delegate effectively and safely to free yourself from unnecessary work.
1. Don’t hesitate to ask for help
Some feel uncomfortable with asking for help or even see it as a sign of weakness. Others don’t want to burden anyone with their problems. These concerns are understandable, but they will also lead you to the unwanted results I mentioned above. Therefore, try to change your attitude and do not hesitate to accept help. By the way, there is an article on my blog about it: “Could you please…? How to ask for help in the right way.”
2. Start with small tasks
If you’ve never delegated before, you’ll probably find it hard to trust another person right away. You will be tempted to help, constantly monitor and eventually do everything yourself again. To prevent this, delegate small and simple tasks first. Gradually, you will gain confidence and learn to trust those to whom you delegate. Then you can move on to more complex and multistep goals.
3. Be as clear as possible when setting the task
People to whom you hand over the work should clearly understand what kind of result you expect and when. No matter if you act scrupulously. It’s better than finding out later that you were misunderstood.
For example, compare these 2 queries:
- “We need to promote our group on social networks.”
- “We need to attract at least 5,000 new subscribers to our group by the end of this month. We enclose an avatar of our target audience”.
In the second case, the chances of being correctly understood are much higher, plus it is easier to measure the result because you have included a specific figure.
4. Remember that the right people for delegation are everywhere
One of the most popular objections is: “I can’t delegate, I have no subordinates.” But those to whom you delegate are not necessarily your employees. First, there are special websites to find such people. There, in just a few minutes you can find the right person and even set the price that you are willing to pay for his or her services.
Secondly, friends or relatives are always happy to recommend you someone or even offer their services.
Finally, don’t forget about the power of networking! The events you attend and the communities you belong to are an invaluable source of recommendations. Just ask for the contacts of a reliable specialist. You will instantly receive several offers to choose from.
5. Make a step-by-step plan
Any large task can be divided into smaller ones. It will be easier for everyone, especially for you from the point of view of control. Make a step-by-step plan and have the other party report on each step implementation. That way you can correct any possible mistakes along the way.
6. Delegate the result, not the process
Clearly explain what result you expect. It doesn’t matter how the other person will do it, it’s the result that matters. Of course, you can show them how you usually do it. At the beginning of the journey, a small training session may be required. But you both should be focused on the result, not the process.
7. Determine how deep you want to be involved in the project
Admit that when you get distracted with questions every half an hour, it creates even more problems than before delegation. Therefore, agree in advance what your function will be. Do you want to play the role of a mentor, a helper, or just a supervisor? The person you are delegating to must understand how much authority and freedom he or she is given. Here’s a secret: the more authority and freedom you give them, the better the end result is.
8. Build trust
Try not to turn your relationship with the one you are delegating to into the “boss-employee” format. True, you reassigned the task to another person, and he or she agreed to complete it on certain terms. But it is very important that you have trust and mutual respect. In this case, the other party will not hide any shortcomings and problems from you, but will honestly speak about them, ask for advice or offer several solutions.
9. Recognize other people’s merits
Imagine that you delegate the task, other people perform it perfectly, and you take the credit for it. I am not saying that no one will want to work with you again. They probably will but money will be their only incentive.
The best motivation happens when a person feels valued, when they receive gratitude and recognition. So make sure to always say thank you to the one who helped you and emphasize that you wouldn’t have made it without them.
Don’t take someone else’s work for granted. If the help was very significant, it makes sense to invite the person for dinner or return the favor in some other way.
10. Analyze your experience after delegating
As with any other skill, you will succeed in delegating if you do it often. To make each next time better than the previous one, learn from each experience. Ask yourself what turned out well, what did not and why. It is also useful to ask for feedback. Find out if your task was clear, and if the people had enough time. Also, ask what you should improve next time. With each new experience, there will be fewer mistakes and more positive emotions.
Delegation is assigning the right task to the right person. To make this process easy and effective, use these guidelines:
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help
- Start with small tasks
- Be as clear as possible when setting the task
- Remember that the right people for delegation are everywhere
- Make a step-by-step plan
- Delegate the result, not the process
- Determine how deep you want to be involved in the project
- Build trust
- Recognize other people’s merits
- Analyze your experience after delegating