Are You on Overload
Are You on Overload? Delegation is One Key
© 2005, Dorene Lehavi, Ph.D.
You probably know that delegating work to others is a great and appropriate
way to save time, prioritize your own agenda and to focus on what you
"should" be doing.
However, knowing when and how to delegate well is the key to being successful at
it. First, what does it mean to delegate?
Del-e-gate: to assign responsibility or authority (from http://www.m-w.com)
Next, are you successful at delegating tasks in your life and work? If not, what
gets in the way of successful delegation? Here are a few common factors:
*You have not taken the time to analyze all you are doing and therefore do not
have the awareness of what you could delegate.
*You are a control freak and feel the need to do it all yourself.
*You do not have the confidence that anyone else could do it well enough.
*You enjoy doing it and don’t want to give it up.
*You may feel that you will not be able to justify the time you have opened up
If you are having trouble getting past some of these, engage someone to help
Following are 8 keys to successful delegation.
1 - Take the time to look at everything you are doing. Make a list not only of
the big projects, but break down the small details, for example, phone calls
that need to be made, research to be done, whatever it is. Indicate with check
marks or other kinds of notes a)which of those could be done by someone else, b)
what you’d like to get rid of if you could even if the how is not obvious, c)
the things you really must or want to keep for yourself.
2 - Identify the likeliest person to do those tasks you want to delegate.
Ascertain that they are capable and are not themselves on overload.
3 - Even if you are their boss, engage them politely by asking if they are ok
with it. Do they have the time and resources to do it? If they are too burdened
at the moment, when will they be in a position to take it on? When you show
respect for people they will be inclined to help out. Of course, as boss you
have the right to insist, but you’d be wise to do it with respect and
4 - Make sure the person you choose is capable to do the task successfully. If
not, you are setting someone up to fail and yourself to be even more stressed.
5 - Communication is key. Many people fall short here. You need to have a clear
picture of the outcome you want and communicate it clearly to the person who
will do it. Often we take for granted that the other person knows, when in fact,
because they are creative in their own way, they may produce a very different
outcome than the one you envision.
6 - Think through the degree of difficulty and if it is not simple, make a plan
as step #1. Explain to the person who will be doing the task why it needs to be
done a certain way by a certain time. Build in check-in points and a timeline to
7 - Overall, keep these points in mind: a) Assess each task regarding the
appropriateness to delegate, b) who would be the best person to ask to do it, c)
make sure you are very clear in communicating how and what you want, d) what
measures will you use regarding deadlines and quality of work? e) remember to
express respect and appreciation for the person helping you.
8 - Now that you’ve relinquished the task, use the time wisely, prioritize
everything you are doing and don’t forget to schedule time for non- work on
your priority list.
The benefits of proper delegation go beyond getting rid of some of your burdens
and opening up your time. The exercise of thinking through and choosing what and
to whom, forces you to focus on important details such as: what are your true
strengths, interests, passions and skills. What are those of the others who
Delegating well requires you to better your communication skills of articulating
clearly, listening and showing appreciation.
Before you rush into filling the free time with other tasks, take some time to
look inside and ask yourself the important questions.
What is the balance between things you enjoy and things you do not in your daily
What additional changes can you make now or in the future to increase the
positives for you and decrease the negatives?
You may not be able to make gigantic changes quickly, but baby steps will also
get you where you want to go.
I welcome your comments and experiences.
Dorene Lehavi, Ph.D. is principal of Next Level Business and Professional
Coaching. She coaches Professionals and Business Partners. You can get a free
sample of her ebook, Stop Doing What You Hate…Start Doing What You Love at http://www.StartDoingWhatYouLove.com.
Contact Dr. Lehavi at Dorene@CoachingforYourNextLevel.com
or on the web at http://www.CoachingforYourNextLevel.com