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Are you the bottleneck in your business?

a person sitting at a desk with their head in a book

Is your inability to delegate the reason why your business isn’t growing?

Deciding what not to do is just as important as deciding what to do. After all, you can’t and shouldn’t be doing everything yourself. And, of course, other than moving tasks off your desk that someone else can do, delegating to your team not only empowers them but also builds trust and helps with their professional development.

Some of the main reasons that leaders struggle to delegate include:

  • Thinking that delegating is just passing work off to someone else.
  • Believing that you can do it better yourself.
  • Being nervous about letting go.
  • Worrying that delegating will take longer than just getting on with the job yourself.

Once you know what’s stopping you from delegating you can work to overcome it. Begin by delegating small, low-risk tasks and build up to bigger projects as your confidence in your team grows.

It’s also important to choose the right person for the job. A common mistake when delegating is giving the work to someone who has the capacity but not necessarily the skillset for the task. Another is overburdening someone who’s capable but doesn’t have the capacity. Finding the balance is important for your and your team’s success.

Set expectations and don’t micromanage

Tell employees what the goals are that you want to achieve, and the timeframe in which you want them done. Then let them tackle the job in their way. Don’t look for perfection or micromanage. Another person may do things differently but still achieve the result you want.

For tasks that have a quick turnaround time, set a specific end date and follow up at least once before the task is due. For longer-term projects, set a series of goals and determine regular check-in times throughout the project.

Trust your team

Once you’ve assigned a task to someone, give them the authority to take ownership of the job. You have to trust that they will complete it correctly and on time. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional quick check-in, if you do it too often they’ll feel that you don’t trust them. A better approach is to establish check-in dates at the beginning of the project.

Follow up

Accountability is what makes delegation successful. Because the person responsible for the task needs to be held accountable for its timely completion, accuracy, and results, ensure you follow up to review the outcome. If there was a problem with the work, it’s that person’s responsibility (perhaps with your assistance) to correct it.

Equally, a task well done should be recognised. Don’t forget to reward or thank your staff for a great job. Exceptional performance is more likely to continue if it’s noticed and rewarded.

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