(Part 6 of 8)

The first five articles on Delegation address a decision tree process of determining if the task and the person are both candidates for delegation. Now let’s look at the process. You’ve got a task that needs to be done and you have decided who is the right fit for the job.

As an Oklahoma City Business Coach, I’ve done this before and you, as I did, will learn that successful delegation begins with the right approach.

As you discuss this project, begin with an invitation to become engaged. This person works for you and you probably have some past conversations to lean on to get this started. At the last performance review, what were the areas of development that either they noticed or you pointed out? Perhaps they made a suggestion or a comment about wanting to have some input.

Start like this; “Ronnie, I was thinking about some of the input you’ve contributed lately and we’ve got this task that came up that I don’t have time for but it seems like you’d be good at this. Plus, it’ll give you a chance to do something different than normal. I think it’ll be a good opportunity for you and I’m betting you will do a great job, can I tell you about it?”

Asking permission is a strong tactic.

It could be a customer service issue that needs white-glove treatment or perhaps you need someone to vet a few vendors for a product. It’s possible the employee might decline the request and that will bring up a good conversation about why. The employee might be feeling overwhelmed and it’s good proactively to find these things out before they blow upon you.

Once you have their attention, you need to convey the details and framework of the project. In this series, we will cover the difference between delegation and abdication. It’s important for you as the business owner to understand clearly that you will have to maintain contact with this task and to not simply expect that it’s off your plate and you are done with it.

No such luck.

Basically, you are tapping into the 90% rule here (another blog post) and can think about it as you are getting rid of 90% of the work involved in the task but you are keeping 100% of the responsibility that the job gets completed properly and on time. The first few times you delegate with any given employee, you will most probably think, “It would be so much faster for me to just do this myself.”

Sure, but you’d be condemned to always have to do this sort of task yourself. And you’d be keeping your employees from learning and growing.

Nobody wins.

You’re going to need to provide an outline of the job so your employee that has not done this before can follow the bouncing ball. You’re also going to need to explain the intangible needs such as interacting with other employees, clients, or other resources.

Other articles related to this series:

  1. 7 Gears of Delegation
  2. Delegation Develops Skills
  3. Delegation: The Bounce-Back
  4. Delegation is Your Responsibility
  5. Delegate: To Whom?

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