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How To Delegate Effectively: A 4-Step Guide


In business, one of the most beneficial skills to master is delegation. While pursuing success, too many entrepreneurs avoid letting go of certain activities out of fear and habit, and instead end up doing everything themselves.

When we’re building a business, it’s natural to be so invested in perfection that we take on doing it all. This is what we refer to at Strategic Coach as the delegation death grip. It’s when we hold on to the activities we know our team members are more than capable of handling because we just can’t seem to pass the baton. We want to finish the race ourselves.

But without learning how to delegate effectively, we can’t be freed up to move on to bigger and better things. Here are four fundamental strategies for managing delegation and getting the results you want.

Truth: You can’t do everything yourself.
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Step #1: Inspire yourself to let go.

To delegate successfully, you have to want to. I encourage people to think about the possibilities if they had more time in a day. Imagine how much more purposeful you could be by getting certain activities off your plate.

Inspire yourself by envisioning what you want your day-to-day business life to look like; that’s your heart telling you there’s something worth letting go for.

Step #2: Determine your success criteria.

This is the most critical step in the delegation process for two reasons.

The first is, when you’re an expert in an activity or task, it becomes routine. There are likely nuances and steps that you’ve forgotten need explanation. This is why it’s so important to get all of this out of your head before the task is handed over. Clarify what it looks like when it’s done and done well. And share your stories and experiences—they’re amazing learning tools for the person stepping in looking to replicate your success.

The second reason your standards are so important to communicate in order to delegate effectively is so the person will know how to measure success and failure. When team members are being delegated to, they want to be clear on expectations so they know what to focus on. This makes passing the baton a smooth and easy process.

Step #3: Delegate to the right person.

Effective delegators don’t hand off projects to the closest warm body. They carefully consider who’s right for the job. I stick by the approach of finding someone I can trust to do a better job than I can.

There’s a lot to take into account before handing off a task. For example, what are you looking to hand off? What kind of mental energy, personality, judgment, and intelligence does it require? Getting clear on these questions makes delegating easier and faster.

Step #4: Allow people to make mistakes.

With any new experience, there comes a learning curve, so allow people to make mistakes and be willing to offer course corrections.

It’s just as important as the initial delegation to make sure your team’s aware you’re available if they need to check in or are running into any obstacles. This is all part of the hand-off. Don’t be guilty of “drive-by delegations.”

By mastering how to delegate effectively, you’ll realize how much more opportunity for growth the future holds. Hanging on to every single thing you’re doing today only guarantees that five years from now, you’ll be stuck in the exact same spot. Let go of that tight grip on delegation, and expand your freedom and success.

About the Author

Shannon Waller, Entrepreneurial Team Strategist, is a natural collaborator who instinctively saw that a thriving Unique Ability® Team can strengthen their entrepreneur, the business, and themselves. A win-win-win. Go, team, is Shannon’s rallying cry.

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