As many of you know, I was recently asked to participate in a video summit on the topic of delegation. To listen to it, click here. It was a great learning opportunity for me as well as the many viewers that tuned in for the series. I enjoyed the opportunity quite a bit and learned so much more about delegation than I already knew. Here are some of the nuggets from the series:
First the basics – what is delegation? Basically, it’s when you assign or give authority to someone to do a task on your behalf.
Most of us cringe at the idea of allowing someone else to handle something that we normally do. Many of us don’t want to delegate for fear that we don’t know how. What’s funny is that we delegate all the time and don’t even realize it. Here are a few examples of how we all delegate:
- We place our mail in the mailbox for the mailman to deliver it for us.
- We put our kids on the school bus for someone else to take them to and from school.
- We take our clothes to the dry cleaners so that someone else can launder them.
- We go to a restaurant so that someone else can prepare and serve us a meal.
The list could go on and on, but you get the idea. The point is that we are already delegators. We delegate a whole host of things, yet all too often when we know we should delegate something else we say we can’t.
Mostly fear. We are afraid that they will not do a good job, or do it fast enough, or won’t even complete it. We may even fear that we will lose control over the task, project or event. Our fear paralyzes us into taking action ourselves and robs us of the time spent completing it.
Well, I’m here to tell you today to kick fear in the teeth! Fear is a liar that wants to rob you of your time – time to do what you love most. The truth is that most of what we are afraid to delegate are the things that we should be delegating the most because they are things that we don’t like to do. Rest assured that we can and should delegate far more than we think we can for the simple fact that there is someone in your area, maybe even your own circle of influence that is not only able to do your task but truly loves doing it and would be glad to do it for you. You could even go as far as saying that you are robbing someone of their joy because you insist on doing their task.
Okay, so now I hear you saying, “How? How do I finally start delegating?” Here are a few simple steps to get you started:
- Start Small – delegate an easy task, a task that you do, but that anybody can do.
- Once you get your delegating feet wet you should take a few moments to make a list of the things that you will delegate, and begin to write down the processes associated with those items. This may take some time initially, but will save you lots of time once someone has stepped into your assignment. While they are hard at work on your task, you’ll be doing the thing that you love and will not want to be interrupted by questions pertaining to processes.
- Now begin to think about who can complete the tasks on your list. Remember to give first priority to those items that you don’t like to do and are not good at doing.
- Finally, just ask!! People want to contribute. Let them. You’ll have the processes in place for them to begin right away and you’ll be free to do what fills your soul.
So there you have it. You can delegate, you just need to do it. Look at your long list of things to do and choose one that has been there for a while and delegate someone else to it.
Let us know in the comments what task you will be delegating this week!