How to Delegate : The secret to working less and doing more

Do you feel stressed and overloaded? If so, then you may need to brush up your delegation skills! In fact, the first rule of management is delegation. Don’t try to do everything yourself—because you can’t!

The truth is, leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.

What is delegating?

Delegation is when you give someone else the power to make decisions and accomplish tasks in your behalf, or in the behalf of your team, or group, or family. Andrew Carnegie once said, “No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.”

When you authorize others to take over some of your activities, you free yourself to focus your time and efforts on those tasks where you can make your best contribution. Delegating is good and can save money and time, help with building skills and motivating people.

On the simple side, delegating is assigning chores to your children—to teach work and responsibility. On the complex side, it would be assigning team member to create a marketing campaign or quarterly budget.

What delegating is not

Poor delegation can cause frustration and confusion to everyone involved. Poor delegation is “micromanagement”—where you provide too much input and direction—not allowing the other person to create their own solutions and do their own work.

What should you delegate?

delegationConsider delegating:

  • Tasks you aren’t good at doing, and that someone else can do better—in other words, focus on your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.
  • Tasks you don’t enjoy.
  • Tasks that deplete you of energy, or time you need for more important activities.
  • Or, tasks that can help someone develop important skills. If you delegate authority, you will build leaders in team.
How do you delegate?

To figure out how to delegate properly, it’s important to understand why people avoid it. Quite simply, people don’t delegate because it takes a lot of up-front effort.

  • Delegate only if you have complete confidence in the other person’s ability to successfully complete the task.
  • Then, clearly define the responsibility delegated.
  • Time must be available for adequate training, for questions and answers, for opportunities to check progress, and for rework if that is necessary.
  • Together, establish deadlines and priorities.
  • Let them know that you sincerely believe in their ability to carry out their tasks.
  • And then, provide specific feedback.
PlanPlus Online makes delegating easy

Watch this (older) video about delegating a task with PlanPlus Online–the interface is older in this video, but the concept is the same.