The art of delegation

Feb 24, 2011 by

Over the years I have found it hard to delegate. I have tried it on many occasions and yet, as I am sure many of you will relate to, I find it quicker and easier to do it myself.

But do I really? By continuing this circle of DIY I don’t ever get to the end of the to do list. I advise clients to concentrate on where their strengths lie and to pass the other stuff over to me and my team, yet don’t heed my own advice!

I suspect the problem for me is where I have been expected to delegate to people I haven’t chosen to work with by former employees and these individuals just aren’t capable of doing the work or more often than not, don’t take the same pride as I do in completing the task to the required standard.

Am I wrong to expect others to care as much as I do, to expect the attention to detail I would show myself, to use a bit of ‘nouse’ if it isn’t quite straightforward?

I spend a lot of time choosing the team I work with now I have my own business, they’re hand picked to meet my standards and criteria. Before they do work for my clients they do work for me. This builds trust – a key requirement needed to allow you to delegate.

If you find yourself struggling to delegate consider the following:

  • Ask for recommendations
  • Talk to the individual you are delegating to, a proper phone call, see if you ‘connect’ and feel comfortable with each other
  • Ask as many questions as you like
  • Start by delegating simple tasks, build the trust and the confidence
  • Make sure you both understand the brief – it could be that issues you have previously experienced were because you didn’t make yourself clear
  • Set time limits if applicable
  • Set reporting times if applicable
  • Ensure there is a clear channel of communication in the event of a query

At the end of the day I trust my team, it’s just bad past experience that has prevented me using this valuable resource to it’s true potential.

So I am taking my own advice, I am delegating and outsourcing, and you know what! It feels great, I just wish I had done it sooner.

So what’s stopping you from delegating? Share your fears and experiences below in comments and let’s see if we can’t rid you of your demons.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Helen, this post really hits home for me. I am awful at delegating! I do give some invoicing and research work to a close friend who isn’t a VA because I trust her and have worked with her before. However when it comes to SEO work or working out a marketing plan for a client I too think it won’t be completed to the same standard or in the same detail that I put into the work. It is very silly really as I know the business can’t grow unless I outsource certain tasks… I will get there… one day!! 🙂


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