Every business owner or entrepreneur has heard, at one point, that delegation is the key to growing a business and staff management, which is absolutely true. As a force multiplier, delegation gives business leaders leverage, allowing them to get more done than they could on their own. However, force multipliers don’t come without a cost.
In the case of delegation, the cost is complexity because to delegate correctly, you must know how to communicate. It’s entirely up to you to explain which tasks need completion, and the person you’re presenting to has to return the same level of communication.
In many cases, this is where the delegation process starts to get messy. Communication is easy to lose, so let’s chat about what to do when your delegation process works until it suddenly doesn’t.
Common Problems With Delegating
Delegation requires well-organized communication. The employee you begin the delegation process with will have to collaborate with other team members at some point, whether to ask a question or communicate the delegation request or results.
We’ve all been in situations where communication is messy or imprecise. Resolving communication results in more communication, primarily as you delegate more tasks to more people.
Most business owners reach a point where they’ve gained complexity and leverage, but they’ve added more staff members to the delegation circle. Business owners back off when the complexity level becomes too intense, such as the need to communicate with ten employees instead of one.
Delegating and Communicating Correctly
Instead of taking on more tasks and moving backward because you didn’t delegate correctly, let’s regroup and fix what went wrong. When the complexity was too much, you backed off from your delegation. You abdicated.
Abdication is delegation destined to fail, but the problem isn’t the delegation itself. Instead, it’s handing off tasks without the proper checks and balances. Delegation can work for anyone, regardless of the number of people involved, and it’s all about solving the issues within the communication process.
Hint: It’s as easy as creating a quick document that clarifies what tasks team members need to complete, the expected parameters of success, and what components require reporting.
Delegation Liberation Framework
In response to the seemingly endless communication problems that come with delegation, I created the Delegation Liberation Framework, encouraging business owners to document the following.
- What you’re doing and why, or the purpose of the project
- Your criteria for success
- Tracking and reporting so you know the project is on track and set to meet all deadlines
- The resources the person in charge needs to get the job done
It’s essential to document these items to the subject of your delegation, ensuring that they now own the responsibility of the project. Encourage them to ask questions beforehand, eliminating the loss of complexity. Try the Delegation Liberation Framework, and notice how much more you can delegate and how easy it becomes over time.
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