For any entrepreneur with a new or small business, it may seem that the best way to maintain control of work and projects is by doing it all yourself – after all, it’s faster, easier and more efficient than having to rope in others who might work differently to you.
But learning to delegate – hard as it might be – offers real and tangible benefits to you and your business. It might require extra effort initially but will certainly reap rewards in the long-term. Here are a few tips to help you delegate successfully.
Whether you’ve recruited one or six people to help start up your new venture, take the time to get to know them individually – how they work, engage and communicate in their role, what their work and responsibilities are and what is expected of them. Maintain that frequent contact to ensure expectations are maintained both ways.
This is where the initial effort comes in, where you’ll need to set the direction for your team members and explain your ambitions to them to ensure the targets are clear and end goals achieved, while making them feel valued and that they’re contributing to the bigger picture.
Asking others for help, be it with a problem you can’t quite crack or an overwhelming workload, is not a sign of weakness. Nobody has all the answers and showing the willingness to reach out when things get too much will likely make you a more approachable and effective leader in the eyes of your team.
Once you’ve let go of a task and assigned it to someone, trust them enough to let them handle it. It’s perfectly understandable to check-in and keep tabs about its progress but avoid being over-bearing and micro-managing their every step. If being kept constantly in the loop is crucial to you, set up a shared system where you can monitor from a distance.
Your staff may have ideas on how to improve a process, a tool, or an internal system that may benefit your business, but might be weary of speaking up for fear of over-stepping. Encourage others to share their views and ideas and give positive feedback where it’s due.
Your words, actions and instructions can have a real effect on others. Be aware of your methods and work on ways to improve how you delegate to others, which could only improve your professional relationship with your staff. Also, feedback is a two-way street – so encourage others to share it and be open to learning from what they have to say.
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