“Delegate, Anne that’s what you need to do,” advised my friends and mentors.
Well, easier said than done as I am finding out. Apart from the fact it is hard to let go, I have also discovered, I am not really good at delegating.
I am learning some lessons the hard way, so here’s some tips for those of you who are about to embark on a similar journey.
1. Decide what to delegate. Like any journey, you need to pack for the trip. You have to decide what you can pass on, and what you want to hold on to.
2. Pack it into small packages. Start small so you can test the waters. You want to make sure that what you are giving away can be managed by the other person.
3. Be clear on how you want the work done. Because you have been doing it all yourself for some time, what may seem obvious to you, is not to someone else. Walk through the work step by step.
4. Write it down. I know I retain information better when I have a check list and the instructions are clear. Then I have something to refer to when I get stuck.
5. Set a timeframe. Spell out by when you want the work done. If you need it the next day or week – say so. The person taking on the task is not a mind reader.
6. Follow up. Don’t just assume that because you’ve delegated, it’s off your plate. You need to make sure the work has been done and in the way you want.
7. Be open to new ways. You may have carried out a task a certain task the same way for years – but with a new set of eyes, there may well be a quicker, more efficient way to do it.
8. Foster ownership. Following on from the number 7, if your person comes up with new ideas. Listen. When you give her the opportunity to follow through, you create more ownership.
9. Change it. If the assignment is not the right fit with a person’s skill set, step back and see how you can change it, especially if this is someone you respect and want to keep.
10. Thank you. Remember your manners. Say thank you for a job well done.
As I say, I am a work in progress, but one thing I know for sure – it is great to lighten the load!