About two months ago in the article, Easing the Inbox, I included a very powerful word. Delegation. In strategizing on how to gain control of your email, Michael Hyatt’s process of ‘do, delegate or defer’ was mentioned as one way to keep items moving on through your inbox. While I hope you have gained some traction in the past few months, I would bet you still are unsure of the delegation piece of that formula.
Delegating is hard. It takes upfront investment of time and resources, trust in someone else and, what often proves to be the most difficult part, it takes the willingness to give up some control. That is extremely tough for us perfectionists (others call us control freaks).
Many people try to delegate but they don’t do it well. Forbes says: only about one manager in ten really knows how to empower others.
It can be hard to know how to empower others when we fear we are giving away our control and power in doing so. But really strengthening those around us makes a strong team and allows better performance from everyone.
Knowing what you are best at is a great place to start, or rather, not start. Don’t doom your delegation and empowerment of others to fail but handing off the key components of your business that require your insight, expertise and finesse. Instead, look for the items that are routine and teachable. Those items only require your insight the first few times. After that the predictability allows someone else to apply what you have taught them to complete the task. They have expanded their skillset and you have eliminated something from your task list.
Don’t give away the parts of your task list that you genuinely enjoy. That is part of what keeps you passionate about your business. If you love greeting the customer who enters your shop, don’t assign this to someone else while you are stuck in the back office entering inventory. This doesn’t, however, open the door to automatically shrug off everything you dislike. Whenever possible identify what causes your aversion to a particular task and see if it could be that there is someone else better suited for it. Perhaps the task creates stress for you because you are not naturally inclined to that role or you lack the skills or tools to do it well. Then find the skilled person who is well equipped to take it on.
Just using those first two options, 1. Finding what is routine and teachable and 2. Identifying what you are not naturally inclined to or particularly skilled at, will make delegating much easier and more rewarding.