I was chatting with a company director recently, he pointed out that many of his colleagues have no idea how to delegate to their assistants or other executives. When I had my own assistant, I was rather at a loss initially as I had never been advised of the best ways to delegate. I’m glad to say my director helped me. So why don’t people do it?
Lack of trust. How will we ever trust somebody if we don’t give them a chance to prove themselves? We need to let go; it’s not easy, but eventually the trust will happen, if not, address that issue. We must realise that people will make mistakes; it’s making the same mistake more than once and not learning that is the real problem.
Lack to time to explain. Remember that you only have to explain once, maybe twice, and then you will gain your time back. Invest the time initially to save much more time in the future.
You think you can do it better. Maybe you can do it better, or it seems easier to just do it yourself, but the person you delegate to can only get better with practice.
You think the other person may do it better. And what’s wrong with that? It shows you’ve trained them well!
Nobody to delegate to… This may seem true at first, but what about outside companies, or using a VA? Could you ask colleagues for ad hoc assistance?
Delegating is imperative, but seldom done enough. When you look at the short-term and long-term benefits though, the path forward is clear.
One of the problems with the influx of technology is that managers are organising their own meetings and travel, or reading and dealing with all their emails. They are basically embezzling their organisations. They are paid high salaries for their specialised skills and should not spend time doing tasks that their assistant is paid to do… and probably does better.
I remember when someone asked my director if they could find time for a meeting, he replied “Ask Heather; she deals with that.” Absolutely correct; he was not paid to organize his diary.
The Manager will also not achieve as much success because of spending time doing tasks s/he is not paid to do.
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