4 Steps to Effective Delegation
Delegation is one of the best skills we can learn to become better leaders and to develop stronger teams. However, delegation is also one of the most difficult leadership skills to learn. Follow the 4 steps listed below to effective delegation and create more time for the important tasks.
The coaching session with my client starts with them looking haggard and tired. I ask them what is on their mind today and they say, “Jim, I am working too many hours and spending too much time having to check on my staff and correct their mistakes. What can I do?”
I asked the client a few more questions and it becomes clear that they do not have a staffing problem, they have a delegating problem.
Their staff perform very well when there is a tight deadline, or there is a last minute order to get out the door. But the staff are lacking focus and seem not to care about the business during all the other times. Or worst, the staff tend to slack off when the owner is not around.
ARE YOU STRUGGLING WITH DELGATING?
Workaholic tendencies are killing us, and the more we work the less effective we are at carrying out the most important tasks. In fact, we strengthen our position as leaders by giving up control and training others to work with us and for us.
Are you a business leader that struggles with delegating tasks?
There are many reasons why we may struggle with delegating. Perhaps, we are reluctant to give up control of an important task. Or we may think that it requires a lot of work to train someone else to do the task well. Sometimes we fear that when we delegate it will fail, and the failure will not reflect well on us. And finally, (I raise my hand to this) some of us are just perfectionists and cannot imagine anyone doing it as well as we will do it.
We know that by not delegating we are limiting our success, as we can only work so many hours in a day and only do so much.
In order to delegate effectively it is going to require an adjustment to our normal behaviour. And adjusting our behaviour is a difficult thing to do.
WHY SHOULD WE DELEGATE?
However, if we don’t delegate, we’ll be stuck where we are now, forever.
It is important to free up our time and to learn to delegate to your team. Why?
- When we delegate, we are showing respect for the team by asking for their help. This acknowledges our team and all of the members, and it opens the way for our growth, their growth and for a better customer experience.
- When we delegate, we are saying we trust our team or that we appreciate them enough to make time to train them to help us. This will expand the depth and breadth of our team for future success.
- When we delegate, we open ourselves up for more challenging and meaningful work and we become the best version of ourselves. If we can transition to delegate successfully then we can maximize our success while helping to professionally develop those we are delegating to!
- When we delegate, we are adjusting workload for the team and strengthening the team for the future. We place the work where the most appropriate person can do it and it frees up our time for the tasks that are most important. This provides meaningful and challenging work for all team members.
HOW TO START DELEGATING
Follow these steps on how to delegate tasks more effectively and create more free time.
Look at all the tasks that you are currently responsible for and put all the tasks into a monetary value category, either $1.00, $.75, $.50 or $.25 tasks.
• $1.00 tasks are tasks that you cannot delegate and require you and only you to handle them.
• $.75 tasks are important, and you probably need to handle those yourself as well.
• $.50 tasks are less important, and you could probably delegate them to a worthy teammate with some preparation.
• $.25 tasks are tasks that you really shouldn’t be spending your time on and would provide an outstanding opportunity to delegate to a member of your team.
Start by delegating all the $.25 tasks. Then delegate the $.50 tasks as you can and keep working at delegating more when your team is ready.
As you delegate the $.25 and $.50 tasks you create time and space to work on the most important and most impactful $.75 and $1.00 tasks for your business.
Ultimately when we learn that we cannot do our job alone and still do it well, we learn to do less in order to accomplish more. And we form a team around us that accomplishes something greater then we could do on our own.
Delegate something right now, and free up your time for more important work. After all, you can only work so many hours and do so much.