3 Tactics to help you delegate more!Apr 25, 2022
Confession time! I used to be an extreme control freak.
My need to control was so bad that I remember one time 20 years ago when my kids were young, I was over at a friend's house, and we were making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for our kids.
My way of making the sandwiches was, and has always been to put the peanut butter on one side and the jelly on the other. That was how I thought it should be done, so much so that I found myself advising my friend because she was making them ‘wrong’. That was a not so proud but very big lightbulb moment for me when I realized how much of a control freak I was!
In fact that moment came to mind when I decided to grow my business to multi 6-figures!
I realized that not only did I have to stop being a control freak not only to improve my personal relationships but also if I ever wanted to grow my business to where it is today, at multi six figures, I had to be able to let go of control.
Although the awareness came through like a flash I can tell you that the transition and putting this into practice was hard. It’s something that I have had to work on many times over the years with coaches along the way.
A few months ago I knew that I had cracked it when one of my team members was out sick with COVID for four weeks. I had to take over her responsibilities while she was out sick. When I was doing the work I noticed that it was taking me longer to do it than it did her This was a great learning experience because it showed me that I had been successfully delegating out tasks that weren’t my zone of genius or the best use of my time!
If you find it hard to delegate and let go then here’s my three tactics to help you - think of it as a gift from one former control freak to another!
- Write on a post-it note and think ‘who can I give this task to?’
By putting “Who can I give this task to?” on a post it note and then placing it on say your computer, you’ll be reminded of it every day and forced to think of the possible person who can help you with your tasks. I want you to do this for every single task you do because as a CEO you want to be removing things from your plate and allowing yourself more freedom and headspace to think about the bigger picture things and be a leader. In most cases, somebody else can do almost every single task. It may take a little training, but things can be delegated.
A lot of business owners and CEO’s get wrapped up in doing everything themselves, or thinking I can do it quicker or better but the truth is in time maybe somebody else would be able to do it better and quicker than you but you haven’t delegated it out to them!
- Let them fail
Once you have delegated a task out, mistakes will be made at first or from time to time and it’s OK. In fact, it’s necessary. I know that initially you may be thinking what does that say about me, if my employee is failing, and it’s a reflection of me to my client?
Everybody makes mistakes, I make mistakes, you make mistakes, your team is going to make mistakes, even your clients themselves make mistakes, everybody fails at some point. And it's okay. Your clients will understand the occasional mistake.
When your team fails they will usually feel worse about it than you do - they may even beat themselves up as they don’t want to fail. But the gold comes from letting them correct their own mistakes. Not only does this help them to learn what to do next time but it also builds their confidence that you have trust in them to course correct and set things right.
And if they don't care about their mistake, or if they continue to do the same mistake, maybe they're not the right team member to have in that position.
- Don’t “Swoop and Poop” when it comes to bigger projects
Imagine you give your team member a project and you tell them what you want and your expectations and then they bring the work back to you and it really wasn't what you wanted. And you “poop” all over it. Not only is this a frustrating situation for you because you feel like you’re the best one to do everything all the time, but it demoralizes your team member because they get their confidence knocked and feel as if they cannot produce good work.
So a better way to do this is to first of all explain why they’re doing the work, what it’s for so that they have a better understanding of the work they are doing. What are you looking for? What’s the end result? What decisions might be made as a result of this work? So often you think that you’re team doesn't need to know this but by giving them the whole picture they can be sure that they’re giving you the right answers and correct solutions to your request.
Then continue to communicate throughout the project. Check in with them at regular intervals and see if they have any questions, need any feedback from you so that you can ensure that the project is on track and also the work produced is in line with your expectations.
At the end of the project they feel good and you feel good. It’s a win/win!
Communication is key when it comes to delegating tasks!
If you’re looking to take more off of your plate, hopefully these tactics will help you get started. And if you're looking for someone to be in your corner to help you think differently, and you want to chat with me about that, I'd love to talk to you. Drop me a message or comment below on your biggest AHA moment!
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