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Productivity / Outsourcing

Business management skills: The art of delegation

Delegation is one of the business management skills often neglected by the soloist. You have to do it all yourself … right? Wrong! Learning the art of delegation could alleviate your stress.

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As a soloist there are plenty of other resources and businesses for you to delegate to. Delegation enables you  to achieve more than ever with no increase in your own personal demands.

Here are some business management skills to enable effective delegation:

1. Lose the ego

Where did we ever get the idea that we have to do everything? When did we decide that nobody else is as capable as us?

Yes, you are wonderful, but so are a lot of people. Lose the ego and let some other wonderful people lend a hand.

2. Choose wisely

What skill set will someone need to do the delegated task well? Who do you already know with that skill set? Write down three people you know that are a match to the skill set.

Remember – you want someone to do a really good job for you so choose wisely.

3. Give permission to say no

Many of my clients say to me “I feel bad asking people to help. Everyone else is busy, too.”

"Yes, you are wonderful, but so are a lot of people. Lose the ego and let some other wonderful people lend a hand."

When you ask someone to take on a task for you let them know it is okay to say no. If the person is too busy already then they won’t feel awkward in declining your request.

This is another reason I asked you to list three potential people to delegate to. The first person might say no. If they do this be sure not to look cross, or sound disappointed. Remember, you told them it was okay, so you need to behave like it is okay.

4. Be clear in your request

This sounds simple but for many it is not as easy as it sounds. Take the time to clarify exactly what you need before approaching someone.

You might know exactly what needs doing but you still need to communicate it. Don’t assume the person taking on the task has the same knowledge as you. Make sure you create an opportunity for questions to be asked.

Want more articles like this? Check out the outsourcing section.

5. Make it easy to say yes

Here are some ways to make it easy to say yes:

  • Keep the request simple
  • Be clear about what you are asking
  • Outline why the task might be appealing to accept. Perhaps it will extend their experience, allow them to meet new people; or raise their profile.

6. Be clear about expectations

If you articulate your expectations clearly, you minimise the chance of problems occurring.

7. Accept a different outcome

If you ask someone else to do a job you must accept that they will not do it exactly the same way you would. This means the outcome may be slightly different. Not only is that alright, the result may even be better because the task was done a different way.

Everybody works differently. If you delegate you must allow each person involved to operate in a way that uses their personal strengths and attributes …not yours.

8. Let go!

Once you have delegated you need to step back and let go. Nobody likes to be micro-managed.

Provided you chose wisely, you will have someone with great skills taking care of the task. As long as they know where to go if they have a question or need help, your job is now to get on with other great things.

9. Give gratitude

Remember to thank them for their work and tell them how it has made a difference to you. Not only will it make them feel respected and recognised but it also means they are more likely to help again in the future.

A little gratitude will go a very long way!

Linda Anderson

is a Certified Professional Coach dedicated to helping people live bold and rewarding lives. Linda has an energetic and direct style of coaching which suits people who like to be challenged.

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