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Delegating by Michael Stone

Most of us have more things to do than we have time to get them done. We’re constantly looking for another hour in the day. Since we won’t find more hours, we need to either accept that some things won’t get done or we can change the way we do them.

Delegating is a scary word for most of us. We don’t believe anyone can do a job as well as we can. If we delegate a task to someone else, there isn’t any guarantee the job will be done right, on time or at all for that matter.

There’s also the problem of training. How good of an instructor are you, and do you have the time and desire to do the training? When you stop and think about the effort required to train someone, you might decide it’s easier to do it yourself. And what happens if someone else does the job far better than you ever could have? That can hurt our pride.

It’s easy to fool yourself into believing you’re better off not delegating, until you realize the things you’re supposed to do aren’t getting done.

Do what you do best and let others handle the rest. When you delegate, things get done. If they don’t, your directions may be unclear or you’re delegating to the wrong people.

It’s important to stay focused on the things that make a difference to your bottom line. Delegating might not improve your bottom line, but it can definitely improve your life. The time you gain is time that can be spent with family without worrying about what isn’t getting done.

When you’re delegating, make sure you’re clear on what needs to be done, and agree on a time frame for completion.

If training is needed, be available to answer questions or lend a hand during the training phase. You’ll be tempted to jump in and do it for them or correct them on little details that aren’t that important. Keep your hands off unless you’re asked to step in. Let them know of others who can provide information or assistance and ask for periodic reports so you know progress is being made.

Think twice before you hand a project to someone who’s never done that type of work before. You might find yourself on a rescue mission that requires more time than you saved.

Accept that the job might not get done the way you would have done it, and it might not get done right the first time. Give your helper some slack. Let them make mistakes without going ballistic; you might have made those same mistakes. Stuff happens, and there are a lot of ways to spell “stuff.”

Keep track of your projects, both who has them and their progress. Praise in public and correct in private.

You’ll discover that if others are trained and treated with respect, most of them will bust their behinds to help you get things done. Let them, and you’ll find yourself with more hours in the day to do what you do best.

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