First-Time Delegator? 5 Delegation Mistakes to Avoid

First-Time Delegator? 5 Delegation Mistakes to Avoid

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and are looking to expand your business, but just can’t because a chunk of your attention is fixated on your mountain of daily work, you should perhaps learn to DELEGATE.

What is delegation? Well, it’s giving authority to another person to carry out a specific task.

Effective delegation is definitely one of the most important leadership skills to have, especially in this time of fast-paced digital age. It’s a one-two punch straight into productivity max, freeing your time while getting the most out of your team.

However, some people can’t seem to find their footing when delegating, and keeps tripping over the same mistakes, consequently, putting what they’ve built at risk.

Let’s discuss the business of delegation and go over the five most common delegation mistakes to avoid.

Delegation Mistakes to Avoid: The Cautionary Tale of Delegating for the First Time

Most first-time entrepreneurs or leaders don’t know half of what work they should be working on and taking on. This is due to the fact that their expectations are unclear.

Without clarity, inexperienced leaders go back to what they believe creates more value for their business, and that’s doing everything themselves to get faster returns on investments. Surprisingly, even experienced entrepreneurs suffer delegation problems, but for them, it’s the fear of losing control over the outcome.

Then there’s the issue of not trusting the team’s skills and ability to get the job right. On top of that, some leaders are also terrified of becoming irrelevant and losing their value.

While all these arguments make sense, effective delegation is still key to team success and strategic work. And it may be hard to get it right, but try, you must.

To help you get started, here are the delegation mistakes to avoid when delegating

  • 5 Delegation Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake 1: Too Diversified Tasks

If there’s a problem you can’t solve because you don’t have the expertise to do it, get someone else who specializes in that area to unravel it for you.

With that in mind, it’s paramount to consider the knowledge and specific skills required to complete a job. You might be working with a versatile individual, but some tasks need genuine specialization like social media management or content writing, where marketing and blogging knowledge are necessary for success.

Mistake 2: Giving Complete Autonomy

Yes, delegating means giving up control, but it doesn’t mean you should relinquish full control to your subordinate. You can’t delve into an area of your business without some sort of control over the work output. If you empower your worker so much without oversight, it’ll give you more pressure and anxiety.

Give your virtual assistant the freedom to make decisions on the processes and empower them to grow professionally, but remain involved in the strategic decision in your organization.

Mistake 3: Delegating Without Direction

As mentioned, a full hands-off approach is a shortsighted notion when delegating. On the contrary, effective delegation is providing guidance to your team members at the start of their tasks, allowing them the opportunity to find their footing.

If you don’t have the time, you can have someone experienced in your team act as a mentor. Don’t settle with just knowing the task is completed, make a clear outline of expectations and check progress.

Don’t wait for one mistake to affect the entire project. A team member taking on a new task is likely to make unintentional costly errors because they’re doubtful and hesitant, so make sure they’re guided with the right context.

Mistake 4: Dodging Genuine Conversations

Delegation is a collaboration, so listening is an integral part of it. As such, if you want your desired results, take the time to communicate with your virtual assistant.

For starters, you can brief them on the task they’ll embark on, Then, you can ask about their motivations and the skills they have that make them qualified for the task. Perhaps, modify the task to their strengths.

The point is, if you neglect genuine dialogues, then expect a mediocre result.

Mistake 5: Ignoring Skills Improvement

There are some tasks that perhaps you can’t delegate because the person lacks the skills to complete them. To address this issue, you can provide training to enhance the capabilities of your team member in the specific area you expect assistance.

Take, for instance, digital marketing. If you desire to exponentially grow your impact online, you can hire a digital marketing virtual assistant and have them take online courses to improve their understanding and knowledge.

Be a leader that invests in capacity building to delegate with confidence.

What Are Five 5 Factors to Consider When Delegating Tasks?

Delegation is not science, so there’s no step-by-step procedure to follow for delegation success. We can only work around it based on experience, and improve from there.

Even great leaders don’t have all the right answers. But they do sure have powerful insights on the fundamental factors to consider when delegating tasks.

  • The Task

    The assignment that you delegate should be clearly communicated. This means providing detailed information and making sure your virtual assistant or team member understands the success value of the delegated work.

    It is only then, that the person, you’re shifting the authority to can measure up to the level of result expected from them.

  • The Person

    As you evaluate the tasks to delegate, you should also find the right person for the job. Go over the skills, knowledge and attitude needed to successfully perform the task.

    For instance, if you want to repurpose content for your website, then it’s best to assign someone from the blogging team.

    Once you’ve scrutinized the important weights on your delegation plans, you can finally assign the task.

  • The Authority

    It’s hard to complete a task efficiently if you don’t know where you stand in terms of authority.

    Think about it, someone who doesn’t have a clear authority will bombard you with questions on decision-making because they don’t have a clear path on how to handle things.

    Therefore, it is necessary to keep the authority and its limitations in writing for each task.

  • Communication

    There has to be two-way communication between you and your subordinate. You need to give clear instructions, no ambiguous words, please.

    Also, you should allow your team member to ask questions and clarifications when they find something difficult and unclear.

    Below are some additional information that you must consider communicating to the person doing the task.

    • Deadline
    • Scope
    • Request
    • Communication Preference
    • Available Resources
    • Relative Priority
  • Training

    Some tasks are difficult to complete without proper training, so finding the right person to accept delegation can be challenging.

    Whatever help you can give, either counseling or coaching for improvement, step in to make sure that delegation can be accepted effectively.

Delegation At Work: Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Biggest Mistake When Delegating?

Summing it up, probably the biggest delegation mistake to avoid is being too involved, more than necessary.

Now, we’re not saying that you should completely leave your virtual assistant to their own device because striking a balance is very important when delegating.

Great leaders give freedom to their team members while also offering guidance. So, we suggest that after delegating the assignment, you can ask your employee what they think of the new task. How do they feel about it?

Upon hearing their response and it gets you thinking, they might not be up for the job, that’s when you can extend supervision. Afterward, if the employee gets more comfortable, you can give more authority to the task.

Ergo, what is to be avoided in delegating jobs? It’s concentrating on the processes of how the work should be done, rather than the outcome of the delegated task.

What Is the First Step to Safe Delegation?

Deciding the tasks to be delegated should be your first step to safe delegation.

Contemplate for a moment what you have on your plate right now that you don’t need to do personally or can be done better by someone else. You could also throw time constraint, as a factor.

Be super honest about your workload and what overwhelms you, because the point of delegation is to maintain balance with work and outside of it without breaking the smooth workflow.

Effective Delegation for Team Success!

Delegating is not dumping office chores to someone else because you can. It is a well-thought strategic plan that helps your business flourish. And it starts with changing the way you think — delegation works!

Now, detouring from those delegation mistakes might take some practice, but it pays immensely in the long run.

So, don’t try to do everything alone, because you can’t; delegate and stick your pile of extra workload to a virtual assistant.