As business owners, we take great pride in what we do. This pride can be a great strength and a great weakness. It becomes a weakness when it limits our ability to see clearly. It is a weakness when it limits our ability to delegate – to let go. We struggle with handing over control. Learning to delegate and hand over responsibilities to employees or contractors is key to growing a business. It’s nearly impossible to grow a business single-handedly.
If delegating responsibilities is a weakness of yours, here are…
5 Tips for Learning to Delegate:
1 – Address Your Control Issues
This is a tricky one. Most business owners have control issues of some sort or another. (FACE IT – it’s true!) You need to accept this and work to correct it. You have so much pride in what you do, what you created, and you are TERRIFIED of having someone else screw it up. Let it go. Have you ever thought that there may be the possibility that someone may actually be able to better your business? Sure, there is a risk that an employee makes a mistake – but I’m sure you’ve made some mistakes as a business owner too. It’s part of the learning process. Accept that as a possibility and get over it. (Pssst… I’m addressing these control issues more in tomorrow’s blog post.) You have so much to gain from opening up, delegating, and letting go. (More on that tomorrow.)
2 – Hire a 5-Hour Assistant
One of the best ways to get comfortable with delegation is hiring a “5-Hour Assistant”. I talked about this a couple months ago in this blog post. The idea is that by bringing someone on for a short amount of time each week, you’ll be freed to do some ‘bigger’ things in your business. By testing this person, it gives you a chance to see what works and doesn’t work. And, it gives you a chance to learn how to manage another individual. It also helps you with the control issues. You can slowly hand over responsibilities, little by little.
3 – Create an Organizational Chart
By creating an “org chart” for your business, you’ll start to see which responsibilities you would like to hand over. When you put all of the jobs of running a business on paper, you start to see that there are things you are neglecting, things that you don’t like to do, and things that you need help with. Soon, you are able to see jobs that you should be delegating. Another helpful way to use the org chart is to identify 2 types of responsibilities: things that you want to delegate and things that you DON’T want to delegate. It helps you identify which things you are comfortable with handing over.
4 – Create Systems
There will be a smaller margin of error if you take the time to train your team and give them checklists, systems, processes to work with. Even if you don’t have a complete set of systems for your business, you can do this. Start with the tasks that you’ve given them to do. For example, if you are an event planner and want them to be in charge of hotel confirmations, give them everything they need to succeed at doing this. Introduce them to the hotel contacts they’ll be working with, walk them thru the contracts between the client and hotel, and show them your system for making reservations and confirmations. The more training you can provide to them, the better off they be. And, you’ll also feel more comfortable knowing that the tasks you’ve delegated to them have your guidance. (REMEMBER – training is not the same as micromanaging. You train them and then let them run with it. See below.)
5 – Walk Away
When you delegate, you need to be able to walk away. No one wants to be mircomanaged. Furthermore, if you have a hard time delegating, you will feel torture watching someone else’s method of working. It’s NEVER going to be just how you do it. And, that’s OK. Make peace with the fact that this person may have a different style. As long as their style is still married to your company’s core philosophy, just let them go with it. It may surprise you!
What have you found to be helpful in delegating? Share your thoughts in a comment below.
If you’re interested in more hiring, training, and managing tools, make sure to check out The People Plan for HR at your fingertips.