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How to Productively Delegate

By November 23, 2011No Comments

Too often we think we are superman or superwoman and able to do everything ourselves. We say things like “it would be quicker to do it myself”, “no one does this as well as I do” and we make ourselves believe we are the only one who can do our job or complete a project a certain way. This thinking reduces your productivity and prevents you achieving your goals. Choose to delegate. Choose to be more productive by teaching others and helping build their skill set.

The benefits of delegating include:

  • You give others the satisfaction of learning a new task
  • You reward others with more responsibility
  • You free up headspace to allow you to focus on other strategies
  • You empower those around you to achieve more

Here are a couple of tips to help you delegate.

Trust people

One of the biggest reasons you don’t delegate is because you don’t trust other people to complete a task or activity your way. Once you accept people will not do things exactly like you (and maybe your way is not the best way…) you will be better equipped to trust others. Accept that sometimes 80% (not 100%) completion is better than 0% completion.

Trust yourself

Believe you will give people the best instructions on how to complete tasks, know that you are the best person to delegate activities. Trust what you know.

Try delegating small tasks first

To build your trust when delegating, start with small and less important tasks to build up your confidence that people can follow your instructions.

Create a template for task delegation

Write down specific details of the action, the date and time required, relevant documentation that relates to the task and the interested parties in the task. Explain this to the person you are delegating to, then check off the completed task against your template or written instructions.

Asks the person to repeat their understanding to you

Once you have delegated the task ask the person to describe back to you (in their own words), what the task is and how it is to be completed. At this point you can clarify any misunderstandings.

Communicate your expectations

People don’t read minds. Be clear if you have expectations, explain these in detail and once again get the person to repeat them back to you. If you have a certain way of doing something and you want that repeated – make that very clear.

Set clear timeframes

Be specific about when you want the task or activity completed. Be specific about the date and time and provide the reasons why this is required. Often when delegating we get frustrated because people don’t complete things in the same time we do, understand while people are learning it may take more time.

Give feedback

Once the task is completed let the person know how they performed according to your instructions, expectations and timeframes.

Reward the delegate and congratulate yourself

Take time to recognize their achievement through praise or an appropriate reward. Congratulate yourself for trusting someone else to complete activities or tasks you would normally complete yourself.

Release control

Recognize you can’t do everything all the time and you may benefit from the help of others – learn to delegate. Remember delegating will help boost your productivity and help you focus on more important tasks while still achieving results – challenge yourself to delegate something today.

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