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How to delegate

How to get others to do things for you - and be comfortable with it.

How often have you neglected to let someone else do something because of these reasons:

• It's easier if I do it myself.
• I do it better myself.
• I don't know if I can trust him/her to do a proper job.
• I don't have time to show someone how to do it.
• There is no one to delegate to.
• I want to do it myself.
• I'm the only one who knows how to do it.
• I'm a control freak and I admit it (welcome to the club)!

If you have a lot to do and often use these excuses, it's likely that there is a wall out there just waiting for you to run head first into.

It's important for you to learn how to delegate and relieve yourself of some of the responsibility because you will be much more effective if you don't do everything yourself all the time. I always hear excuses like, there's no one who is as good as you, as committed as you and strive for the same goals that you do. Oh really, and whose fault is that?

Delegating things also means that you allow others to participate. It lets others know that they are part of your objectives as the objectives become theirs as well. That's pretty smart, isn't it? People don't work just for money. They work to feel important, satisfied, to develop themselves and to be challenged by learning new things (not everyone, I know, but there are some good people out there that can really help you if you just let them).

But how do you do this? Here are some tips that will help you learn to delegate:

1. Make a list of everything you could delegate in your job
Next to each task, type a name for the best candidate to do the job. If you work alone, you can find a partner or some other provider. You are not just looking for people who have the knowledge now - it's perhaps even more important to find those who are motivated and reliable. Those who want things. I love people who want things and if I only could, I'd found a new society with only those kinds of citizens. What a wonderful life we ​​would have together.

2. Match the person with the task
Did you know that you flatter a person when you ask him/her to do something to match or enhance their knowledge of the field? People like you and I love to show others what we can do. Some people work best if you just let them loose while others need a pat on the shoulder during the trip, but still deliver fantastic results if you just let them grow with the business they get from you. You not only get one job less to do, you also get other peoples gratitude for letting them do it, too.

3. OK, you're a control freak, I know (I am too)
That's why you should start with a smaller task the first time. When it's finished you give the person who made the job feedback and yourself a pat on the shoulder for letting go of the task. Before you delegate work, you should be clear about what you expect and tell it to the person you delegate so that he/she understands. Tell the person you delegate things to that they need to understand the following:
• What results you expect.
• What you want them to do.
• How you want them to do it (if it's necessary to do it in a certain way).
• What they need to do.
• When the job must be completed and what the deadlines for the project are so you can keep track of the process.
• That the person you delegate to is responsible for getting it done on time.

4. Let go and give the delegate all of the tools that he/she needs to complete the job
Give him/her the same stuff that you have to do the same job, basically. If you must inform someone about something, answer the questions: “Who? Why? How? When? What?” in your information. Ask yourself if what you say might be misunderstood or create insecurity with the person you inform. Ask yourself what questions a smart person would ask themselves when they get your information and weave the answers into your communication.

5. Don't micro manage!
Let the person you delegate be responsible and do the job on his/her own, but be sure to be available to assist if needed. The key here is to not delegate a task without a desired result. How the person does it is his/her business. Being a good coach means that you move other people's trust in you, that they begin to trust and rely on themselves. That is why you must instruct and encourage people to become their own bosses. If you can get people around you to feel like that, they will use less of your time. The time you invest to get them on the court will be returned to you many times over.

6. Get together regularly and check on the progress
Does everything work according to the schedule? Do people have the resources they need? Will they still get the results you want? Provide support, but avoid doing the job for them. You can ask open questions such as:
• How are the brochures coming along?
• What are you doing right now and what has happened since last time we spoke?
If work is lagging behind, ask what they need to be able to catch up.

7. When the job is completed, evaluate the results
Expect a good result, but not perfection. There are many ways to achieve the same results and it's not certain that only your own preferred way is the best. You might even find that some new perspective on the task might do wonders with it.

8. Give the one who made the job a lot of appreciation
 If you have given sufficient good instructions from the beginning then everything will go well, perhaps better than if you had done the job yourself. To get others to want to do the work for you, you must show that you appreciate and reward it. It can be anything from a sincere thanks to higher wages, bonuses or a new position. Or why not give them time off or make sure everybody else gets to know what this person has accomplished in a newsletter or in a meeting.

9. Make sure that your employees are working with what they are really good at
If there is information that your talents hate, it will reduce their desire to make any efforts. Can someone else do it instead?

Are you convinced now? I hope so, because this way you can create time to leave work at five o'clock instead of half past seven every evening. There are other things in life besides work (or so I’ve heard.)

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
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