6 Strategies for Delegating Better and Letting Go

It was early Monday morning and I was on my way to the gym.

…Headset plugged in and listening to one of my favorite podcasts…

Then I heard the host say “80% done right is almost always better than 100% done right by you.

Wow! What a powerful statement and something I see to be true with so many clients I coach.

It got me thinking some more and I couldn’t resist but to cook up something good for you here…

Because here is the thing, delegation is a skill! If you want to do it right, then don’t wing it 😉

It’s something to learn and improve on over time.

And to help you out a bit, I want to share 6 key delegation strategies with you so you can test them out and watch as your productivity increases and your team starts loving your new delegation skills.

1) Leave your comfort zone and learn to let go

This is the key to it all. The biggest problem most new bosses and leaders face is the inability to let go of their own work. Sometimes they feel so dedicated to completing their own work that they refuse to let other people help. Other times, they fear that nobody else has the skills or abilities necessary to execute the work effectively.

Whatever the case may be, your first priority needs to be to learn to let go. Start small, delegating only the smallest tasks, and gradually work your way up. Get to know your team better and improve the trust among you and your co-workers. Take baby steps and know that eventually, you will have to let go of your work if you want your team to be successful.

2) Play to your peoples’ strengths

You should know each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, including his or her current, and potential, range of skills.

When delegating, take a look at your team and assign tasks to whoever has the greatest number of relevant skills for that task. It seems like an obvious choice, but too many leaders delegate to whoever has the lightest workload or is the most convenient.

3) Be explicit about goals and expectations

Tell people your ultimate goal rather than micromanaging how they do it. Who knows…they may come up with a better way. Along the way, give continual feedback to make sure you both stay aligned on the goals and expectations.

4) Set milestones

Delegating does not mean walking away from an activity until it’s complete. Establish key milestones and review progress along the way.

Make sure you set yourself reminders on your calendar to check-in on the status of the tasks. That way you can avoid last-minute emergencies because of delayed or inadequate completions.

5) Set the right tone

Create an environment in which dialog is open, questions are encouraged, and mistakes become part of a learning experience.

6) Last but not least, recognize and reward excellence 

Give credit where credit is due. Don’t put your name on things that others have done. Whenever possible, give them the credit and visibility they deserve for their work.

And always remember to compliment people in public and to criticize them in private!

Delegating isn’t always easy, and the process isn’t always clear cut, but the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll develop the expertise to do it effectively.

Now, let’s put this into action. What’s one thing you can delegate today and use the strategies shared above to do so effectively?

Your leadership coach,


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