Coach for Success

Successful Delegating - Getting Others to do the Work

In the previous page I wrote about getting organised or, more precisely, organising oneself. This page takes a brief look at organising others – delegating. The two together effectively help you achieve your “first things first”.

Why do most of us not delegate well? The first (if not blindingly obvious) reason is that we may not have anyone we can delegate work to! This in itself may be the number one reason why you’re not working on the important. This in fact was the key issue in a recent taster session I had with someone. This individual knew that they should hire a part-time assistant, but hadn’t done so for over 18 months. Thankfully for them they now have. For anyone who is a sole trader, give yourself permission every so often to think about what more you could achieve with additional help.

For those of us who do have employees, why don’t we delegate, or delegate effectively? The typical reply is, “Well it’s quicker if I do it myself” or, “If I want it done right, I have to do it myself.” Clearly who we choose to delegate to is important, but all too often the failure to get the required results is the fault of the “delegator”, not the “delegatee”.

So how can we improve our delegating?

  1. Clearly define and describe the desired result(s) you want.
  2. Don’t tell them how to do it, but explain any guidelines you have and any known failure routes.
  3. Help them identify the resources that are available to help them.
  4. Explain the accountability arrangements – how progress should be reported and how it will be monitored.
  5. Explain the consequences, good and bad, both for them and for the company, of achieving or not achieving the desired result.

If you are concerned that someone will take the wrong action, ask them to give you their recommendations, before they proceed further.

The above may seem a little too time-consuming for some, but the results of poor delegating can be very costly and the results of not delegating often even more so.

What three new things will you start delegating this month?

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