To finish off the third tool for increasing effectiveness I want to talk a little about delegation. I have worked with over 1500 women and it never ceases to amaze me how much we take upon ourselves and rarely ask for help. I want to pose a question to you. What else could you do with your time if you were delegating more? I am off to Corfu next week to do some snorkeling with my three daughters so there wont be a blog – some things can’t be delegated but they can be deferred!
So firstly, a reminder that delegation is not abdication. We are still responsible for running a tight ship and making sure that we deliver (refer back to tools one and two for tips on how to do this) but we can’t just ‘trust’ that things will be done the way we want them to be done. Regardless we must strike the balance between control and trust.
Here are some basic tips on how to delegate, we have already covered this in Tool One (Communicate clearly and explicitly) but it is worth reminding ourselves, especially in the current climate when everybody has too much to do and not enough time!
1. Define the task or output clearly. What results do you expect? Get agreement on the targets and objectives
2. Make sure that the person you are delegating to has demonstrated competence in that area
3. Explain the restraints and rules
4. Explain what resources the person can use i.e. people/money/tools
5. Ask the person if they have any questions or feedback
6. Specify a deadline
7. Tell the person how you will be measuring their progress. What gets measured is what gets done!
8. Tell them what the consequences of poor performance will be
It is vital that you delegate everything that somebody else can do whose time is less valuable than yours. What do I mean by this? If I can earn £25 an hour and my cleaner/ironing lady charges me £8 an hour, I have made a profit of £17 by delegating the task of cleaning and ironing.
Some of us find it natural to delegate work projects but then we get stressed out trying to do everything at home. When was the last time you asked your teenage children to do their own washing or your partner to do the shopping or the cooking? I have heard women say that they don’t want to ‘give up’ the home responsibilities. Let’s put it this way – I doubt you will come to the end of your life and wish you had done more ironing!