Overwhelmed? It may not be a bad thing. Part 3

By Christina Suter on Aug 08, 2013 at 06:34 AM in Business Issues

So the last part now is how to delegate. First thing to do is deliver the project — that you want them to do something for you — with the protocols, to your assistant. However, your focus is not on the protocol — your focus is on the end result of what you want them to produce. Tell them the vision, or purpose, behind the necessity of what they’re doing such as how it serves the business. Your vision defines with what attitude, purpose, and focus your assistant will handle the task, which will give a better opportunity to be successful at implementing what you want from them. Part of why small business owners are hesitant to delegate is because we feel that we’re the only ones who can implement the vision of the company. What you're focused on isn't just the procedures of getting it done, but how and with what attitude it gets done with.


Once you've delegated that project, plan on at least 2 or 3 follow-ups for that project. If you're actually delegating a system, i.e., an on-going task, do it with your assistant at least once, hopefully twice. Then for the next two times, let them do it by themselves, but be available after or during the task. Then check with them if they’re ready to do it without you. In the process of delivering this system to them, you would also want your assistant to fine-tune the protocols based upon their experiences of what is happening. After the 4 sessions (don’t do it during the sessions), review your assistant’s adapted protocols and make sure it meets the integrity and branding of your business.


Delivering a one-time project — i.e. a task with a beginning and an end, with a deliverable end product — is done in exactly the same way. Give them a delivery date that is before the final deliverables are due. Between when you’ve delivered the project and the date they need to deliver the project back to you, check in with them and plan on them having questions. Ask them specifically if they can do the project and deliver on that date. You want them to say yes, but if they can't say yes, then you need to shift something in the project. That is because you need their commitment. Give them the opportunity to say they can't do it and work and negotiate with them on whether they can do it and on what day they can do it. The final thing you want to ask is if there is anything that they need from you in order to get the project done. That way they know that you have an open-door policy and that they can reach you.

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