How To Successfully Approach Delegation


By Chris Koch, Head Coach and Trainer, BDR

As owners and managers, many of us know the importance of delegation so we can focus on the business rather than working in the business. So, why do we struggle with letting go?

Often, we fear the task won’t get done to our standards or timeline. Other times, we believe we don’t have time to show a team member how to do it, so we might as well just do it ourselves. At the core, we just don’t know what steps to take to start delegating.

Does any of this sound familiar? Maybe you’ve heard some of these excuses or maybe you’ve used some of them to justify avoiding the issue. Ultimately, we need to look past the fears of delegation and lay out a plan to use it to our advantage.

Here are some questions to ask in the delegation process:

What is the task that might need to be delegated?

This shouldn’t just be menial tasks you don’t want to do, but needs to include larger tasks and projects that empower and grow your team. Think about the what: what would you be better off giving to someone else versus doing yourself. Review your business goals and start there.

Why should it be delegated?

The main focus here should be it frees you up to do other tasks that have big picture implications. It may also provide training opportunity and empowerment for other team members.

Who should the task be delegated to?

Certain tasks can’t be delegated even if we want. Identify who on your team is the best fit to take the task from start to finish.

When does it need to be completed?

Deadlines are incredibly important because they establish the expectation of completion, time needed to get the task/project done and check-in points. Be clear with all of the information from the start.

How frequently should you check in?

Put check-ins on calendars so expectations are set. Use these check-ins to evaluate progress and review previous action items. Let your team member know you have an open-door policy if they get stuck – they don’t need to wait until the next check-in date if they are at an impasse.

What resources or support do they need?

Who do they need to interact with? Do they need any special software, tools or training to be successful? Anything that fits into these categories should be addressed before delegating.

How will you reward the completion of the task?

Celebrate the completion, so the team feels like what they did was important, and they are energized to start the next task.

Now that we’ve identified the questions to ask yourself to successfully delegate a task or project, it’s time to pick one and get it done! Then, pick another one and repeat the process. Start small and build on your team’s successes.

Want to learn more about how you or managers on your team can learn how to be better delegators? Check out Chris Koch’s training Creating the Next Generation of Company Managers.