Delegation: It’s Not About “Giving” Your Work to Others

Watch your head


Many people believe that “delegating” is just a way of getting rid of work – that delegation is simply the selfish act of giving your work to other people, so you can have less of it. Au contraire!


Delegation is about work productivity .. and that’s why a client chooses to partner with a virtual assistant. If you adjust your perspective, delegation is actually a way to gain personal productivity while helping others to develop new skill sets. You win and they win .. everybody wins!


Normally, delegation happens because someone has a workload they can’t get through, and they become overwhelmed by it. They are told to give their work to other people so they don’t cause themselves a great deal of stress or anxiety. This is valid, but what they can also be told is that by giving that work to someone else, they’re offering them a learning opportunity.


Delegation should be viewed as the opportunity for someone else to learn new skills and be working on further career development. To the organization they work for, they are also becoming more of an asset because of the cross-training they may be receiving.


For the person delegating the work, there’s also the opportunity to take on something they may have a better skill set for. Not all new tasks should go to the people with the smallest workloads at the time. There should be some shuffling so work can be shared across the team and everyone gets an opportunity to learn. Moving workloads around can also pay off strategically.


If someone doesn’t know how to do a delegated task, there may be a need to spend a little more time with them initially, while they get some training. This is true for any training scenario though and is part of expanding a contractor’s skill sets.


Of course, if there’s a constant issue with the size of all the workloads, then that’s a different issue that needs to be addressed — there is such a thing as too much work. Also, keep in mind that someone who already has a big workload, and keeps being given more work under the pretense of “development,” is eventually going to push back.


If you’re overwhelmed by your workload and someone in your team has the capacity to receive a delegated task, don’t brush off the option immediately. Think about things from a different perspective and consider how you can help each other.


Finally, when that “I Need HELP!” mentality strikes, here are a couple of delegation tips:


    • Consider partnering with a virtual assistant to help you out. This can be a one time only situation, a trial run, or ongoing.


    • Don’t “Delegate Dump.” By this, I mean do not to take a vast majority of work and plunk it to another. Build upon each task with your virtual assistant. When you do this, both you and your VA build trust, understand your respective businesses, and the sanity will slowly sink into both of your work days.


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