Successfully Delegate in 3 Steps (and have your task completed properly)

Ready to free up time during your week?

By the end of this post, you will be able to identify ONE thing that can get handed off TODAY and hand it off.

Before we get to that, let me ask you a question. Which of these do you experience?

Our $2,500 coaching clients have these common concerns about delegating:

  • “It will only be done right if I do it”
  • “I can do it faster”
  • “I only want to delegate tasks that I don’t like doing”
  • “I can do it all myself”
  • “I forgot to hand it off when I realized it needed to be done”
  • Fear of losing control of the process

While these pitfalls are real, there’s one major challenge that has nothing to do with mindset, but everything to do with skill.

That challenge is called “Incomplete Task Definition.” This is when you hand off the task, the directions are vague or incomplete.

This is the most common issue when delegation is unsuccessful.

I have good news – this is easy to overcome and we’re going to get to that in a moment.

Before we cover that, let’s talk about a few of the common errors that happen when trying to delegate:

  • Dumping. This is when the whole task is dumped at once instead of breaking it into realistic, manageable parts.
  • Not setting up your employee or independent contractor for success. When the contractor/employee does not excel, it compromises your confidence. Then you stop delegating. It was a poor execution of delegation, but your contractor/employee pays the price.
  • Not investing the time to make the process a success. True delegation is the time you invest in someone to make sure they are doing the process correctly.

So here’s how you can create a simple version of your task in 10 minutes or less.

Identify ONE thing that someone else can do in less than 20 minutes.

Start simple. You’re going for a quick win here.

Make a list of the steps to complete the task.

You need to be specific and this needs to pass the “Walk in off the street test.” Never heard of this test before? Imagine you pull a capable human off the street. They’ve held down jobs and probably have a college education. Write the task so that even if this person doesn’t know you or your business, they can take your process and complete it.

So don’t say “write a blog” and think you can hand that off. Write out the process in detail. What do you want them to do? It may look like this: access topic list. Remember to must explain where to find it. Choose topic for the week. You might have an editorial calendar. Write outline. Get the outline approved. Write first draft. Have it edited. Choose an image (give guidelines for this). Make sure the post has appropriate SEO built into it. There might be another training you do about SEO or have a separate process written for it. Put the post into your publishing software. Test the post, click links, check visual formatting. Set a due date for the post to go live and click publish.

Hand it off.

Go through the process step-by-step. Make sure expectations for each step are clear. Encourage your support person to ask questions and also ask them questions throughout the process to be sure they understand what to do. If you need any check ins throughout the task, make sure it’s clear where those are. Make sure that any materials or information needed to support the successful completion of the task are all pulled together. Once you’re done, have them repeat back the process to complete the task in their own words. This ensures they understand the task and haven’t left anything important out. It also allows you to clarify anything they find confusing or unclear.

Rinse and repeat.

I recommend handing off a handful of tasks each week. Make sure that your team member(s) understands the task and displays skill in the follow through before you hand off more work.

Delegation is an ongoing process. Always ask yourself, “what can I hand off?,” so you can be proactive in maintaining time in your schedule.

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