Whether the endeavour is a successful wedding or a successful business, no one person can do everything required to make a big plan succeed. This is why delegation is important, especially once there are trustworthy people available to help delegate to. The problem comes in with letting go of the control for any part of the plan. A leader, business owner or even a bride may find it difficult to hand over their vision of success to someone else to guide, even if it is in something as small as organizing the food for a get-together. Keeping control of every little thing means that nothing gets the full attention it requires, especially the major components of any plan. Even if there is no enjoyment in doing the task, the simple idea of not being there to oversee it might throw some people into a panic.
Here are some guidelines to letting go of smaller tasks to free up time to focus on larger ones:
- Choose trustworthy people to assist in the tasks. If there is any concern about their abilities, discuss this up front with them and ensure both parties understand what is expected.
- Communicate the desired outcome of the task. Whether it is handing over the accounting system or just the mailing list for advertisements, it is important to let the other person know exactly what the expected outcome is. If there are deadlines, sensitive information or just quirks to the process, these need to be outlined in the beginning to help avoid issues down the line. Don’t set up someone for failure by not clearly noting what is expected.
- Clearly identify the responsibilities of each delegate. Does one person need to handle a specific task? If so, let everyone else know that this person is in charge of that piece of the puzzle. This will help alleviate gaps in communication or stepping on toes. No one can say they didn’t know they were responsible for something if it was identified early on as their responsibility.
- Empower those people to make decisions themselves. Give them authority to act on their best instincts and not have to run everything by someone else first. If this poses a problem down the road, address it and make any necessary changes but always trust team members to do their best.
- Provide support where required. If there are questions or concerns, or something unexpected comes up in the process, let everyone know they can ask questions or for assistance without repercussions.
- Look at results more than to-do lists. There will always be more on the list to do, but focusing on what has already been done and how well it was handled can help encourage the team.
- Check in periodically as a team. Depending on the final deadlines, this may be a weekly event or a monthly event. Have everyone give a brief update and use the time to brainstorm any solutions to issues that may have come up.
At first, delegation can seem like a daunting task; finding the right people, learning their skill sets, handing over assignments suited to them, reviewing work, ensuring things are running smoothly, etc. However, once the process is in place, these items will no longer be consuming large portions of productive time and this frees up that time for more important matters. So much more can be achieved once delegation becomes a part of normal practice.
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