Delicious Delegation – clawing your way out of overwhelm

“If you want a thing done well, do it yourself”

There is definitely some truth to this idea, commonly attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte.

Only you truly know exactly what you want done, the pitfalls to avoid and the most efficient way for you to complete the job.

And you also know how just how annoying and disappointing it is when you;

  • Feel like you are constantly chasing people up
  • Think of all the time that is wasted when the job isn’t done well enough or quickly enough.
  • End up doing or redoing the task yourself anyway.

Sometimes it really is easier to do it yourself.

But here’s the problem – there is only one of you.

If you do everything yourself, then each hour of your effort will create an hour of output. It is a 1:1 relationship.

You will get better and more efficient over time, but ultimately your output is limited by the number of hours you have available, which might lead you to putting in more hours or packing the ones that you have so full that you are running around like a headless chook. Neither of these scenarios are sounding very tasty. 

Delegation is the answer. It really is delicious as you watch your one hour of time being turned into 2, 5 10 or even more hours of output.

A 1: Multiple relationship. Now, that is tasty.

And delegation is not all that difficult. Follow these five steps and you too will be on the way to Delicious Delegation.

  1. Consider what can be delegated – delegation is appropriate for repetitive tasks where the consequences of failure are not life-threatening (so you may delegate taking of radiographs but not a CSF tap!)
  2. Consider what is needed in terms of resources – time (yours and theirs), skill set, training, initiative, authority, guidance
  3. Marry that up with the people available and involve them in the decision to delegate
  4. Make time for a conversation – This is a key step that is often overlooked. You need to invest time to set up the process – just as you do when you implement any time-saving system. Have a discussion where you set up and document clear expectations of the outcome required, the time frames, the available resources and the schedule of progress checks. Consider together, the consequences of the job not getting done – to the practice, animals and to your delegatee, as appropriate.
  5. Follow-up regularly – encourage, support, assist to problem solve, recognize and reward what goes well.

Yes – other people are likely to be slower than you to begin with.

And yes, they may get to the outcome by a different route than you would.

But when you take the time to communicate, coach and give constructive feedback, they will feel more empowered and happier. Meanwhile you will have more time for the activities that are the most important and meaningful for you. De-licious!

Having troubles with delegation and feel like you are doing it all on your own?

Why don’t you book a personalized coaching session with Cathy or Cheryl to help you to delegate more effectively?