OK, time for a reality check. Yes, the world will spin without you doing all the work. Athough it may be unpleasant to think of it, the job may actually get done better, because it was done differently than you would have.
Still not convinced that it would just be easier to just do it yourself than go to all the trouble of training someone else to do it? Look at it this way: If a magic workplace fairy said you could have an extra 20 minutes a day or even an hour a day to do anything you wanted, would you turn it down?
So what’s a little time spent training someone else? In the long run, it will be well worth it. So now that you’re convinced you can loosen the reins a bit, here are some tips to get you started on the road to delegation:
- Decide where you need help. Write down what you do in a week. Then choose the jobs you really enjoy doing and gain satisfaction from; these are probably the ones you don’t want to give up. Consider your best skills and the jobs that make the most of those abilities. That should leave you with jobs you don’t like, or are not particularly good at, that someone else may be able to fill.
- Select candidates. You don’t want just anyone helping because when you delegate work it reflects directly on you. Look for others who will be interested in doing the work, have the skills to do the job (or are willing to learn those skills), and have time to accommodate the tasks.
- Make your case. Be specific about the work you want them to do, what the goals are and any deadlines. Let the person know why you chose them and explain how doing the tasks can add to their skills and make them more valuable to the organization.
- Seal the deal. For some people, a handshake may be enough. But to be on the safe side, and to make sure both parties understand the delegation, send a note after the meeting outlining what was agreed upon, and ask the person to read it and make any necessary changes. Notify coworkers that you have reached this agreement, and the person has the authority to do the job.
- Follow-up. Check to see that things are getting done in a timely way. If it appears there is a problem, address the issue and do not get personal.
Remember that just because someone does a job differently than you does not mean it is wrong, it’s just different. Keep your mind open to new ideas and you’ll find delegation provides you some growing opportunities as well.