Helping others embrace that done differently does not necessarily mean done wrong is one of the most fun parts of my job.  The reason many folks have a hard time delegating is that they inevitably know how to get it done better or, they believe no one knows how to do it right.  This, of course, is right, wrong, and a control freaks crutch.  Often, the person delegating the task DOES know how to do something better than others, however when it comes time to delegate, these three very specific practices can help you find success:

  1. Clearly defining what “done” will look like for whoever you are delegating the task
  2. Outlining the expectations and steps to complete the task
  3. Allowing the person who has the task to complete it (Sometimes in their own way)

I know many of you cringed when I said “in their own way”, but if someone can get to the same or very similar result but through a different process, let them! Give them the structure and tools they need; enable them to be successful, take a breath, and let it go.  Perhaps the lawn will be mowed at an angle instead of cross cut, it will be ok! Breath! Don’ forget that you just got back two hours of your life.  Keep your eyes on the big picture: you have just removed something from that nightmare, the bottom right quadrant.  The person doing that task has just put something in their top right quadrant and this has freed you up to focus on other things; let them run with it, thank them, and enjoy the time you have just purchased.  If you can, clearly explain exactly what done looks like with an outline and let them have it.  (Keep in mind, they might have a better solution or a slightly different way of doing it.) TA DA! You just gave yourself more time.

In EOS, we are very fond of pointing out the psychology that as humans we need to hear something 7 times before we have heard it once.  This is very important to remember when you are delegating out tasks that you can do in your sleep–it may take time, even if it is simple, for the new person to really get it.  When they ask you that same question for the 5th time, smile and know you only have two more times to go.  Remember your time is worth it.

Simple Exercise 5: 

  1. Identify 2 tasks you plan to delegate and define what “done well” will look like. Create a basic outline of how you would do this process.
  2. Delegate these items, breath, and let it go. Remember your time is worth it.

There you go! Simple timeless exercises that have been around forever.  Please let me know how this goes for you and as always: enjoy, embrace, and treasure your time.

If you know anyone in your network who would find this of value, please feel free to forward. If you have specific questions or if you’d like to learn more, please feel free to reach out! No expectations or obligations. Here to help.

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