How to Delegate Effectively & Why You Should
As a business owner, do you ever find yourself wondering why your business feels stuck and you aren’t gaining any traction? It’s probably because you’re at capacity. Ask yourself, “If I had to leave or not be around due to an emergency, would my business still run without me?” If the answer is, “No,” then it may be a sign that you’re doing too much and hindering your business. The way to break through that is to learn how to delegate tasks to your team. Here are five components to the art of delegating.
Why You Should Delegate
It’s a common temptation for a business owner to do it all yourself. But be honest – how is that working out for you? If you want to grow, the truth is that you can’t do it all yourself. Keep it going and you will experience stress, a high workload, and a stagnant business. What you need to do is DELEGATE and build a team that you can trust to carry out your vision!
So, why delegate tasks? It takes the noise out of your head as the business owner so that you can focus on more important things or things in your area of expertise. If you are excelling where you excel, then you are better for your own business. Another reason why it’s a good idea to delegate is because it is also a response to your own next step of self-development. Learning how to delegate builds your own leadership skills and raises your impact to your team and your business.
What to Delegate
If you’ve been doing what you do for a while, chances are things come automatically. You may not even realize a lot of the things in your head can be transferred into steps that someone else can learn and do. Where do you even begin to organize those tasks that reside in your brain? First, list out anything and everything you do. This may take some time. Try tracking every task you are doing on a daily, weekly, or regular basis. Once you have that list, split them into two categories. What are tasks someone else can do? What are tasks that only I can do?
Tasks that fall under “what someone else can do” can be further broken down to four categories:
- High Effort / High Skill
- High Effort / Low Skill
- Low Effort / High Skill
- Low Effort / Low Skill
As the business owner, you want to keep the low-effort, high-skill tasks. Your more qualified members can probably tack the high-effort, high-skill ones with training. The rest most certainly should be delegated.
Finding the Right People
Just because someone can do something doesn’t mean that they should. There are certain factors to help you decide who is right for what. You don’t want to look across your team and just pick the ones who are the most qualified or the ones who have the least to do. Those may seem like obvious choices but, if you don’t want to have to keep training people how to do things or get frustrated and take it all back again, then you want to be careful here.
There are a few things you could do to find people. Keep an acronym in mind: S.A.W. Skilled, Available, and Willing. Simply ask for help and see who comes forward! Talk to the qualified people with the skills to complete the task and find out their workload. The last thing you want to do is to take on more responsibility if they are already falling behind on their current responsibilities. You want the person who takes over a task to also be the one in charge of it. If they only do it here and there for you, they will not be able to grow in ability which ultimately helps you. They own it now, so let them!
Resist the Urge to Micromanage
One of the first things you should recognize about delegation is that it is more than just making your business more efficient. It is an opportunity for growth in leadership for yourself, the business owner, and your team. It may be hard to resist the urge to micromanage, but value yourself as a leader! Micromanagement is a control and fear factor and that is no way to lead. You will learn skills in teaching, communication, and management of a team.
There is a healthy balance between bossing everyone around and being so hands off that you have no idea what is going on in your business. You want the balance where you are leading and running the business at the same time. Besides, if you are always around and tweaking and saving them when they are stuck, the team never learns and grows and you end up with more work on your hands than before. Trust your team.
As a business owner, your business is the fruit of your labor. Yet too many of us are in a constant state of overextension, which fuels an instinctive reaction to “protect” work. This survival instinct ultimately dilutes our impact through an ongoing, limited effect on others. Someone did your job before you and will be able to do your job after. Give back. Teach others. Take advantage of how to delegate to the best of your ability. Your business will thrive because of it.