The art of delegating is an important skill for entrepreneurs and corporate managers alike. No one has the time to ‘do it all’ and trying to do so generally only results in burnout and over exhaustion. Asking for help is one of the best things you can do as a leader.
Yet, learning how to delegate effectively is an art unto itself. It takes time, patience and dedication. So much so that many managers and entrepreneurs opt out of delegating altogether. Find out how to delegate tasks to the right employees and how to train them to get the job done right.
Why Is Delegating So Hard?
Delegating often feels harder than it needs to be. In fact, this task can be so difficult that many managers and entrepreneurs avoid it altogether. Learning how to delegate is difficult because it requires you to stretch many different muscles. Not only do you need to have patience and trust, but you also need to practice good time management skills, too.
Problem #1: Learning to trust others
When you relinquish your tasks to someone else, you need to know you can trust their new owners. Often, we become attached to our duties. After all, we’ve been completing them for so long. Who else could ever know how to execute them so effectively? Who else could do so as well as you do?
If you ever want to relinquish these tasks to others, you’ll need to learn how to trust people. One of the hardest parts of this accepting the realization that the way you do something isn’t the only ‘right’ way to do it.
When someone else takes over a task, eventually that person will start completing it using different methodology than you might have. This hard because you’ll need to accept that this person’s methodology is OK — and might even be more efficient than yours.
Trust that you’ve chosen the right person for the job.
Problem #2: Who has the time to delegate?
Learning how to delegate takes time. As does the act of delegation itself.
Before you can unload a task onto someone else’s shoulders, you’re going to need to take the time to train that employee.
While you’re going through the training process, you’ll inevitably need to coach someone to complete the tasks you’re trying to delegate. This takes a lot of time and patience. You’re going to need to set aside enough time to train someone else — which will (at first) take longer than completing the task yourself.
Problem #3: Which tasks are ‘delegatable’ and which aren’t?
Not all tasks are created equal. You shouldn’t delegate all your duties. There are some tasks that only upper management can tackle. There are also some tasks that aren’t worth the time to teach someone else how to complete.
Before delegating anything, make a list of tasks, how long it takes to complete each one and how long it would take to train someone else how to do it.
How to Delegate Without Fear
Delegating is hard; on the one hand, it’s hard to let go and trust others to do the work, on the other hand, you have to be prepared and plan ahead to have work ready to be delegated! Follow these tips to ensure your employees are ready for the tasks at hand:
- Get to know your employees to find out which ones are best suited for each task.
- Take the time to train your employees.
- Don’t ask anyone to do anything you wouldn’t do.
- Provide detailed and honest feedback.
- Don’t forget to provide positive reinforcement (don’t offer critique without compliments).