10 Ideas How to Delegate

“If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.” ~ John C. Maxwell

Thinking of delegation might make you nervous, especially if you’re used to doing things on your own, but you can’t be a team of one forever. 

By delegating some of your responsibilities to someone else who you trust, you’ll be able to spend more time on the things that require your expertise and build a more sustainable process – for yourself, your team, and your business.

Of course, delegation can come at a cost, especially if you don’t have a big team to rely on. But affordable delegation is a real thing.

Here are 10 ideas how to make delegation work for you:

1. Review Your Task List

Review all your tasks and answer some questions about them. What do you: Love doing? Hate doing? Love doing but could use a little help with? Hate doing but can’t delegate to someone else? Categorize your list to figure out what you should keep doing (the things you love and don’t need help with) and what you should delegate (the things you hate and can delegate).

2. Find the Right Candidate

Think of the responsibilities and consider your candidate’s strengths, weaknesses and preferences (e.g. don’t ask your marketing person to take over financial bookkeeping, don’t delegate a task that requires a lot of collaboration to someone who prefers working alone).

3. Start Small

Begin with a small project (or a small step in a project) that isn’t as critical but is necessary for your business. Give the person enough time to complete the task. If they make mistakes, don’t give up on them, instead mentor them and teach them how you want things done.

4. Clarify Your Desired Outcome

Clearly articulate to whoever you delegate to – what needs to get done and what is the desired outcome. Also make sure they understand why the task is important, which will increase engagement and creativity.

5. Set Clear Expectations

Make sure your team member can answer the following three questions about each task.

  1. What do I need to do?
  2. How should I do it?
  3. Why should I feel motivated to accomplish it?

6. Engage, Don’t Micromanage

Throughout the training process, be available to consult, help and motivate as your team member learns. However, remember there’s a fine line between checking in and micromanaging.

7. Clearly Communicate
Clarifying your desired outcome and expectations (above) is the first phase of communication. Engaging (instead of micromanaging) will take care of the communication throughout the project. But keep the channels of communications open so both you and your team members can share progress and challenges, ask questions, and brainstorm solutions together.

8. Carefully Measure Success
Vague goals or expectations will result in confusion, frustration, time wasting, guessing and poor (or at least unpredictable) results… Setting clear goals will help measure success and solve the issues above.

9. Document Processes
Before you ask someone to do something you normally do, make sure you’ve documented your process for that task. If your instructions are clear, it’ll be like you did it. Of course, that doesn’t mean the person you delegate to should do it exactly how you do it forever – ideally, they will improve your process. But they need a starting point, and starting with a documented process is the most effective way to be sure they’re completing the task you had in mind.

10. Use Automation Software

To simplify delegation, you can automate some of the processes (e.g. create an email sequence that only needs to be triggered by your team member) or try using a task or project management software (e.g. Asana or Trello).

Now It’s YOUR Turn

For five minutes… come up with as many ideas as you can… what do YOU need to do to delegate better? Give it a try and post it below…

Let's Brainstorm

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Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

Let's Brainstorm

00:
Days
00:
Hrs
00:
Mins
00
Secs
.000
00:00:00:00

Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

  1. With Asana, Jira and similar programs you can create a project or epic and then create smaller tasks inside. Then you can review, approve or reject a task that it was or wasn't done according to the brief. It's a good way to deligate without losing time and control of the project.

  2. I am not that far that I can start delegating. However, with all those tips I can start with making a list what I want/need to do myself and what I can delegate when the time comes. Also writing down how I do things. This might help to review my processes and even make some improvements.

    Thanks for all the valuable tips.

  3. This is such a struggle for me... Since I don't have an overview, I cannot really delegate. So it's mainly tasks...

    I now work with a Trello board, where my VA and I can move tasks so we know who's working or needs to work on that. Even checking on the tasks my VA did, can be time-consuming (or I'm not completely satisfied with my own texts...

    In the beginning I let my new VA's create the SOPs, including the checklist and written page with the pictures of every step (I created the videos). However I simply forgot about this way of standardizing tasks that come back every time...

  4. Make time for it. Don't make assumptions and always do check, double check whether the assignments and desired outcomes are clear.
    Tell what makes you happy and what don't

  5. Vision: what is it that I am really timing for and base my choices on that first. So remove everything that distracts so I don't delegate costly and unneccesary tasks.
    Expertise: Find someone who is just better at the task than me and whom I can trust.
    Reflection: what is it that makes me hesitant to delegate at all?

  6. This still is challenging to me but I'm in the game 🙂
    I would add:
    Have SOPs standard operation procedures and ONE communication tool like teams or slack

  7. Whenever delegating, 2 extra tasks appear: Briefing and Evaluation. So plan those in.

    Preparing a briefing. Have it clear what the goal is, what the structure is and how much freedom there is in doing the tasks. As well as how you want to be kept up to date during the task. Write this down.
    Briefing. Then communicate this. Ask questions and give space for questions.
    Brief me back. After the briefing, ask your partner to summarise what their task is. This gives feedback on how well you communicated (Yesterday I did a process with 2 people and I used the word "goud". One of them focused on "fout" and the other on "koud". Oops)

    Evaluation. Look at the result and your original briefing. How did they do? What do you want different next time. Communicate this.

    I am sure there is more on evaluation, but my time is up 😉 Someone has tips on how to do this part in delegating?

    Also, when you start working with bigger teams, you can delegate the briefings and evaluations, you just have to prepare a briefing and evaluation for it xD

    1. @Max - this is BRILLIANT!!

      You managed to sum up the whole process of delegating in such a focused way - it's really remarkable, especially the part where most people skip which is the Brief me back..

      As for evaluation - what I can add is that you first let the person who you delegated to to evaluate their own work. what worked & what could they have done better or different, that way you get them involved in their own growth and improvement.

  8. In the past years, I delegated tasks to several freelancers, interns and volunteers. I wasn't always satisfied with the results. The above list gives me insight in what went wrong: I wasn't always clear about the desired outcome and my expectations and I didn't give the right task to the right candidate.

    Another thing I always struggle with, is my will to please. I was always sorry about the 'shitty' tasks I gave them, ending up doing the tasks I wanted them to do and them screwing up the important fun tasks. Yes I know, that's not very smart. If I were in their shoes, I wouldn't mind doing the 'simple' work.

    I don't know if the others recognize this, but for me it's a very important lesson: DON'T BE SORRY !

  9. It's been a long journey for me until I've learned how to delegate. I wish I had this list when I started it would have saved me - time money and most of all frustration and pain.

    For me the best advice I got about this topic was that there is a difference between "delegating" and "dumping your tasks on someone"
    Meaning - you need to take the time to make sure the person you chose to delegate to understands what needs to be done, is capable of doing it and knows that you'll be around in case things go wrong or they have questions.

    Another thing that I've learned is to let go of the need to control HOW they do it as long as they reach the desired goal. If you do that and let them know you're open to their creativity on the HOW you'll be amazed how many times they get too a much better goal and result that you up in the beginning

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