I was recently reading a blog posted by a colleague around how to delegate effectively within your team. Whilst reading this blog, I was bombarded with complicated words and strategies on how we determine what and how we should delegate. The complexity of this blog got me thinking about how straight forward delegation should be.
In my eyes, delegation is relatively simple as there are essentially only two types of tasks. Those where you are adding value, and those where you are not. The tasks you do where you are adding value, you should continue to do. All those tasks that you are not adding value, which are typically the more transactional based, repetitive tasks that you can train someone else to do or you can effectively outsource should be delegated.
To be honest, I think the reason some people have difficulty delegating has absolutely nothing to do with the tasks involved or who they need to delegate to. The reason most people don’t delegate well is for one of two reasons:
1. They are scared about losing control. For many of us the thought of delegating to others creates fear. A fear that by getting others to complete their tasks and activities is essentially making their role redundant. When in actual fact, it should be doing the exact opposite. By delegating to others you are giving yourself more time to focus on tasks that you want to do, that you are passionate about and you are creating the time to learn more and take your knowledge and skills to the next level so that you can add more value to your organisation
2. They think it is quicker to just do the task themselves. We are all busy and it is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that rather than show someone else how to complete the task it is quicker and simpler to just complete the task yourself. Yes, training someone in how to do the task initially does take some additional time, but if you do it properly you will only need to do it once!
I love to delegate and even though I have probably been delegating since my brothers were born, I know there are times when I too can find myself slipping into one of the above categories. However, most of the time I try to plan to ensure that I delegate and train appropriately, because at the same time I know that I am empowering others to complete the tasks themselves. Obviously you need to be realistic and weigh up the difficulty of the task, whether you have someone appropriate to delegate to, and how much time it will take them to get up to speed. But delegating is a very constructive way to encourage your team and service providers to take on new challenges, take responsibility and learn some new skills and knowledge.
There is also this wonderful thing called technology that allows you to create training videos using your screen combined with your voice, which I love. This technology ensures you only need to record how to do the task once and then the person you are delegating to has something to refer to if they need to, which is great if the task doesn’t have to be completed frequently or you want to train more than one person.
So don’t be daunted by the art of delegation and look at the upside. The more you delegate, the more time you will free up to add value to your organisation in other areas!