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Small businesses are not a one man show. It is not practical or possible for a single individual to do everything which needs to be done. Many people are reluctant to delegate work because the lack of trust in other people’s ability, wanting to do everything themselves and so on.  However, in the modern business environment, there is no alternative to delegation. Delegating work is a skill which can be acquired and improved on.

Let’s take a look at the different ways to delegate work effectively.

  • The myth of 100% delegation - Everything cannot be delegated. You need to delegate the right things and not delegate the wrong things. Some confidential tasks or tasks that require information from your computer should not be delegated out.

  • Outsource the low priority work -List down the things that can be delegated. Delegate the ones you can’t do your own and also the ones which don’t interest you. This way you can focus on the high priority activities and what really interests you. Your productivity will definitely increase as a result.

  • Seamless communication – Give clear and unambiguous instructions, preferably on paper, so that it is not forgotten. Be approachable and provide different and reliable communication channels such as email, phone and web chat. Provide enough information to do the job properly without overwhelming the recipient with a deluge of information. Make sure to periodically communicate to learn about the progress and resolve queries and task related issues.

  • Have a defined criteria – Select the best person to delegate to. You just cannot delegate to anyone and everyone. Evaluate whether the person has the capability and temperament to do justice to the work. Don’t give work to people just because they have free time or are inexpensive. You’ll probably spend more time explaining the task than getting the task actually done.

  • The value of timeframes – Set deadlines and schedule accordingly. This will help enforce discipline and you can track the progress of the work.

  • Trust is the key – Avoid micro management. You need to have faith in the person you are entrusting with responsibility. The work needs to be done well and not necessarily in the way that you like. The delegation of work is also a great opportunity for others to learn something new and important.

  • Praise and acknowledge publicly – This practice is good for both the short term as well as the long term. It is important to recognize good work and reward the person responsible. It is a great way to keep the person motivated and raise team morale.

  • Relinquish some authority – It is a good practice to give some measures of authority to the person responsible for the work. This way he can make some decisions on his own regarding the work. Avoid retaining the entire authority and just delegating the task. This will slow down the execution and deadlines may not be met.

  • Change your thought process- Many people think that they are the only individuals who can do complete justice to the job at hand. The reality is different. Many others can also perform the task equally well or better if given the right guidance and training. It is high time you get rid of the “Only I can do it well” mindset.

In order to manage people well and for the business to grow effectively, delegating work is crucial. As you do it consistently and persevere, you will definitely become better at it.

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