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How to Delegate: Tips and Myths

Don’t do it all by yourself. Learn how to delegate as an owner in your next business meeting here.
how to delegate effectively tips and myths

As a business owner, you wear many hats. From managing finances and operations to overseeing marketing and sales, there’s no shortage of tasks to complete on a daily basis. While it’s natural to want to have a hand in everything, trying to do it all can quickly lead to burnout and decreased productivity. 

The Solution? Delegation

By entrusting tasks to others on your team, you can free up time and mental space to focus on high-priority projects that require your expertise.

But how can we ensure that the tasks we delegate are completed to the desired level of quality and within the designated time frame? And how can we build a culture of trust, collaboration, and accountability to support successful delegation?

In this article, we’ll explore the power of delegation for business owners, some common misconceptions, and provide tips on how to get more done in less time, without sacrificing quality or control.

What is delegation?

Delegation is the act of assigning tasks, responsibilities, or authority to another person or group. It is a critical skill in the workplace and is essential for effective leadership, time management, and productivity. 

When done correctly, delegation can empower team members, improve morale, and help ensure that work is completed efficiently and effectively.

At its core, delegation involves determining which tasks can be outsourced or assigned to others, selecting the right person or team for the job, and communicating clear expectations and goals.

Successful delegation requires trust, effective communication, and a willingness to let go of control to some extent.

What happens if the owner doesn't delegate?

There are tell-tale signs of an owner who hasn’t mastered the art of delegation; either tasks or decisions. They are plagued with something called, “decision fatigue”.  Decision fatigue occurs when all major decisions are left only to one person. Due to the onslaught of questioning, that person gradually makes worse and worse decisions as time goes on and they’re stretched thinner and thinner, leaving them incapable of making intelligent decisions.

Bottlenecking is also a recurring problem when an owner doesn’t delegate well.  This simply means all orders of operations have to pass by them first; which is a problem when there are multiple requests at one time.  An owner can only do so much, and no more than one thing at a time.  Operations get clogged and clumsy when there is only one person trusted with the final say.

An owner who doesn’t delegate believes this will save them time by eliminating errors, mishaps, and time-consuming questions but what it really does is waste everyone’s time and talents. Not only is it a waste of time to wait in line for one boss’s approval, but it’s also a disservice to the employees not to trust them with more responsibility. Train employees once, and you never have to make those kinds of decisions again.

Two Levels of Delegation

At its core, delegation involves entrusting tasks and responsibilities to others, which frees up time for you to focus on higher-level work. However, not all delegation is created equal. In fact, there are two distinct levels of delegation, each with its own benefits and challenges. Understanding these levels and how to leverage them can help you become a more effective delegator, improve team dynamics, and achieve better results overall.

Delegation of Tasks

Frankly, you can only do so much alone. Trying to handle every aspect of your business yourself can quickly become overwhelming and lead to burnout. That’s why delegation is a critical skill to master as a business owner.

Delegating tasks can free up your time to focus on more critical aspects of your business, such as developing new products, expanding your customer base, and exploring new revenue streams. Additionally, delegating tasks can help you identify areas where you need additional help and support.

Moreover, you can gain a better understanding of where you may need to hire additional team members, streamline processes, or invest in new technology or resources.

Here are some key steps to help you delegate tasks effectively:

  • Define the task clearly: Make sure the person you’re delegating to understands the task and has all the necessary information and resources to complete it.
  • Choose the right person: Assign tasks to people who have the necessary skills and experience to do the job well.
  • Set clear expectations: Be clear about what you expect in terms of quality, deadlines, and outcomes.
  • Provide support: Ensure that the person you’re delegating to has the necessary support and resources to complete the task.
  • Communicate regularly: Check in regularly to ensure that the task is progressing as expected and provide feedback and support as needed.
  • Recognize and reward success: When the task is completed successfully, recognize and reward the person who completed it to build morale and motivation.

Delegation of Decision

It’s not just about assigning tasks to others — it’s also about entrusting them with decision-making power. As an owner, it’s all too easy to become the bottleneck for every problem and decision in your business.

You may find yourself constantly fielding questions and requests from employees, putting out fires, and playing defense. This can be a significant drain on your time and mental energy, and it can also stifle the growth and development of your team. That’s why the second level of delegation involves giving employees the power to make decisions.

 

Delegating decisions means teaching your employees how to do the job without you, providing them with the tools and resources they need to make informed decisions, and trusting them to do the right thing. 

 

This helps you create a more agile and responsive business that is better equipped to adapt to changes and seize new opportunities.

 

Here are some key steps to help you delegate decision-making effectively:

  • Define the decision: Clearly define the decision you want your team to make and the criteria they should use to make it.
  • Choose someone that can lead: Assign decision-making authority to people who have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to make the decision effectively.
  • Set clear boundaries: Define the limits of the decision-making authority, so the person knows what they can and cannot decide.
  • Provide support and resources: Ensure that the person has access to the necessary resources and support to make the decision effectively.
  • Regularly followup: Check in regularly to ensure that the decision is progressing as expected and provide feedback and support as needed.
  • Review and evaluate: After the decision is made, review and evaluate the outcome to learn from it and improve future decision-making.

Common Misconceptions About Delegation

Indeed, delegation is a powerful tool that can help leaders and teams work more efficiently and effectively. However, there are several common misconceptions about delegation that can hinder its effectiveness.

Giving up control

This is a common misconception about delegation. In reality, delegation is about communicating clear expectations and goals and providing necessary support and resources to ensure success. It does not mean abdicating responsibility or losing control over the outcome.

It's a sign of weakness

Some people believe that delegation is a sign of weakness or incompetence. However, delegation is a crucial skill for leaders at all levels and can help individuals and teams achieve their full potential. It is a strategic approach to managing workload and improving productivity, not a sign of weakness.

It's only for managers

Some people believe that delegation is only for managers and those in leadership positions. However, delegation is a valuable skill for everyone, regardless of their position or level of responsibility. By delegating tasks and responsibilities, individuals can free up time to focus on higher-priority tasks and improve their overall productivity.

It's a one-time event

Delegation is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process. It requires ongoing communication, feedback, and support to ensure that tasks are completed effectively and efficiently. Successful delegation involves building trust and fostering a culture of collaboration and accountability.

A business needs a team

The popular saying “No man is an island” is a poignant reminder that in both our personal and professional lives, we rely on others for support, guidance, and success. This is especially true in the world of business, where your employees play a crucial role in the success of your organization.

As a business owner or leader, it’s important to recognize the value and importance of your employees as your precious teammates.

Here at Tsetserra Growth Partners, we want to help empower you to delegate tasks and decisions. You have worked hard to get to this point, contact us to make the most out of it!

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