The delicate art of delegation

I must admit giving tasks to someone else has always been fraught with challenges. What if they don’t do it as well as me? What if it is wrong? What if they don’t deliver on time? What if they do it differently? What if they do it better?

Heavy sigh. I should just keep doing it myself.

Like most managers out there, I learned the hard way that doing it all myself is no longer possible. I am needed in the areas that I do best — strategy, delivery, and leading people. So I have had to bite the cold steel bullet, gather all remaining courage I have left in my stomach, and do that dreaded D-word: DELEGATE.

In the process of learning how to delegate, I’ve had to overcome many challenges. I’ve had to learn to perfect the art of communication, to build on the results instead of tearing them down with criticism, to be patient with both my team and with myself.

Throughout the experience, I’ve come to realize how delegating has changed my life and the possibilities for my business.

Here following are some tips that I have learned along the way. May they light your path towards delegation heaven.

Do a work portfolio review.
Look at all the tasks and projects on your plate and decide which ones you really want to keep and which ones you want to give away.

Review your team’s talent and strengths.
Who would learn and grow from some of the work that you have to share? Who is outstanding in an area that you are not so good in?

Set up a structure that works for you and your team.
Maybe you need weekly check-ins—maybe more. Maybe less. Determine what they need from you and what you need from them.

Open your mind to the possibilities.
They will do it differently. That is OK! Different is just better. Maybe you will learn something.
Breathe.

Patience is worth its weight in gold. If done properly, the right delegation can give you more time in the day to accomplish more important tasks and goals.

Delegation is a true art form. It takes practice and time. Allow yourself and your team to grow into the process so you can both achieve great results together.