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6 Reasons You Are Not Delegating Effectively

by Laurie Stirling Today, I am uncovering six reasons why you are not delegating effectively.

Diving straight in, with Number 1. You're not giving clear enough instructions. Maybe you are making assumptions on how much your team member knows and you haven't given them the passwords or the instructions or the credentials or reference materials that they might actually need to do the task.

Number 2. You haven't communicated the big picture or overview of how their task affects the process or outcome of other people's tasks in the process.

Number 3. You haven't given them ownership of the outcome. Why are they doing this task? What outcomes are we trying to improve? This is where KPIs come into the picture for your team.

Number 4. You haven't given them boundaries to make safe decisions on your behalf. So this is mitigating the risk of making a decision. As the business owner, you make decisions in your business all the time, but if you are asking your team to make decision for you, you are asking them to take some risk, and that may lead to them feeling unsafe. It's not their business so if something goes wrong, they might cost you money, they might cost you time. So there's a risk involved in making a decision, but if you can give them safe boundaries to make decisions on your behalf and the kind of decisions that you would make in that particular situation, then they're going to feel safe and supported and be able to make that kind of decision again in the future.

Reason Number 5. They don't have confidence in the task that you are asking them to do. This might be a mindset thing, validation, they need reassurance, and you can give them this by setting guardrails for them that if they only go so far, then they're not going to make a mistake or that they can't make a vital mistake because there are checks and balances in place before that will happen. It might also be that they don't have experience, so you might have to walk them through it once or twice or get somebody to mentor them who already has. Maybe it's a bigger picture thing and they might want to go and do a new course or something, to get a bit more understanding of that particular project, or maybe do a free webinar or YouTube tutorial for software. Software companies are always putting out webinars and tutorials and things on how-tos, and maybe they just need to go and spend a little bit of time doing research and be given the permission. It goes hand in hand, with permission and the boundaries to make safe decisions.

And reason number 6. Is you haven't ensured accountability. This accountability has nothing to do with micromanaging. You and you team don't want to be micromanaged, but you do want to make sure that your team is accountable and kept accountable. But that doesn't have to be done by you nagging. It can be done through numbers, KPIs and by going back to the big picture outcome or ownership of that outcome so that they understand: "Okay, if I'm doing this task, this is the outcome that it's producing." If they're not producing that outcome, that's where the accountability comes into it, the numbers tell them, you won't need to. And just because they haven't achieved their goal doesn't mean that they're not doing their work or their job, but it provides a level of, "Well, how do I do this better? How can I make this better?" And that's where autonomy comes into play, as they are looking for improvements themselves.

Building a culture and making sure when you delegate a task effectively, you cover all of these bases. They understand you've given clear enough instructions and you've communicated the big picture to them, they know where their task falls in the process if there's other people involved, you've given them ownership of the outcome. So for example, if you want to improve your social media, you're trying to get in front of new eyes, then you want to give them the flexibility to try new things and not just the one task that you've given, and can help with suggestions that way, they take ownership. Make sure you give them the permissions they need and the boundaries to make decisions on your behalf, and feel safe doing that. And then the confidence comes and you have the numbers to support it. We're all accountable to those numbers and can come together as a team to problem solve when necessary.

So if you or someone on your team would like to be able to delegate better to your team, but you are needing a bit more confidence or perhaps a bit more know-how on how to lead, manage and make decisions, then check out my webinar on how to delegate like a COO, so you can take your career to the next level. So please sign up, either to attend live or to watch the recording. You can visit Thanks for stopping by. Have a productive day!

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