Do you run your own business or work for a large company? Do you outsource support, or manage an internal team? Whatever your situation, at some point in business, you will need to generate extra capacity. It could be to focus on developing the business or just get to the end of your ‘to do’ list. If you want to avoid working longer hours, you will need to delegate and rely on others. So how do you delegate effectively? Surely, nobody could do the job as well as you?
Here are 5 steps to set you on the path to mastering the art of delegation:
1. Be clear in your own mind about the required outcome of a task.
If you haven’t decided what you need, how can you explain the task to somebody else? Great prompts are: what, when, why, where and how.
2. Build a trusted relationship with the person or team, you delegate to.
Start small. Delegate low-risk tasks initially and get to know how you each work so you can build confidence that outcomes will be delivered to your specification.
3. Confirm the task is understood and achievable.
Written confirmation of the requirement will provide a useful reference for you and anyone working on the task. For complex tasks, don’t be afraid to talk to the team and ask questions to make sure the requirement has been understood. This is a great opportunity to confirm appropriate skills and/or resources are available.
4. Agree what updates are needed.
Agree when and how updates will be given and then avoid micromanaging delivery. For example, would you like confirmation that certain elements of a task have been completed, or just when the whole job is finished?
5. Evaluate how it all went.
Tasks should be completed successfully; great! Now reflect on what went well. If something wasn’t quite right, ask yourself what went wrong and what would you do to improve the outcome next time? In all cases, share your feedback constructively with the team.
Delegation is a skill and takes practice. Being able to trust and rely on those who support you is invaluable. Remember that a simple ‘thank you’ for a job well done goes a long way.
Want some ideas of what tasks to delegate to your VA? Read our article, "Tasks to Give Your Outsourced PA Today".
SmartPA Partner, Zoe Thomson
Zoe is a capable and dynamic support specialist committed to delivering SmartPA’s world class services to businesses. She has proven leadership and stakeholder management experience, derived from a variety of fast-paced roles in the military, public sector and corporate environments. The knowledge she gained in areas such as protective security, aviation security, counter intelligence, risk management and training will ensure increased productivity and efficiency within any business.