The Art of Delegation
I am so excited to be home after a long vacation with my family. This summer has been such a blessing, and the best part is that not a moment of it has been wasted. I’ve been present to every little bit of it. And I know that it wouldn’t have been possible without an amazing team taking care of business.
During the last part of my trip I was sitting with a dear friend discussing our superpowers. She is an obvious connector – she knows everyone and sees beautiful ways to weave people together. I, on the other hand, am a master delegator. I’m great at seeing what needs to be done and how to get the most done using the people on my team (or anyone who’s standing around 😉 ).
As a little girl my teachers told me not to be so bossy. Luckily, I had parents who understood the value of leadership, and instead of breaking my spirit, they encouraged me to refine my natural gifts. It took a long time for me to turn bossy into leadership, and as my employees from 11 years ago will tell you, the road was not always smooth.
But now, one of the main things that my entrepreneurial friends and clients come to me for is help with hiring and delegating. This is rarely a natural skill and one that we aren’t taught in school, and it’s so vital to anyone wanting to make big things happen. You don’t have to run a business, or even be a CEO or manager to benefit from learning how to gracefully delegate.
If you want to change the world, you’re going to need help. Here are 5 tips to help you delegate:
- Fully embrace being in charge. One of the major mistakes I made as a young leader was that I spent a lot of my time trying to prove that I was the boss. Funny enough, I also happen to actually be the boss, so I was wasting a ton of energy trying to jump an imaginary hurdle.
Once I allowed myself to really step into the role and felt secure in my position, my resistance and my staff’s resistance dissipated.
When you’re in charge, be in charge. You don’t need to prove anything. – Tweet it
- Be clear. There are times when I’m not in charge – and I loooove it. When someone else is leading, I’m happy to be in a supportive role, especially if they’re prepared and concise.
When people are looking to you to know what to do, they want you to tell them. Don’t be apologetic or scared to direct them, this ends up coming across very murky and unclear and creates stress and tension for them because they don’t know if you’re sure about how you’re steering the ship.
Make sure you understand what needs to be done, even if it’s delegating the figuring out of what needs to be done to someone else.
- Give consistent and honest feedback. When someone has done a good job, genuinely thank them and point out what they specifically did well. If the job was done in a subpar way, give exact instructions on how they need to improve and provide support for them to make the changes.
Ask them for their opinion on what was done well and what needed to be improved. You’ll often find that they already know, and holding the space for them to share gives them a greater opportunity for growth than if you just spell it out for them.
- Repeat this mantra: “Is this the best use of my time?” There are a lot of things in business and life that need to be done. Does it all need to be done by you? HELL NO! In fact, when you spend your time doing something that you could hire out or delegate to someone that would be happy to do it, you are robbing yourself of time to do the things you’re absolutely brilliant at.
- And most importantly, let go of perfection. The number one thing I hear from people who are overwhelmed with work and aren’t delegating? “No one else can do it as well as I can.” And well, that may be true, but they can probably do it at least to 80%.
Next week I’ll be writing all about healing our perfectionism, but know that perfect isn’t always best.
Your time is worth investing in learning the skill of delegation. I promise.