Ep #49: Delegation Checklist
Being able to delegate properly is a superpower. Here’s a short delegation checklist to help you master that skill.
What you’ll find in this episode:
- A short delegation checklist.
- Determine if the job or task is tactical or strategic.
- Write it out. Here’s what I want done. Here’s the result I want. Be specific.
- The three steps to properly assigning a task to someone.
- Why follow up is essential.
- The importance of giving feedback.
Featured on the Show and Other Notes:
- The podcast I did with Brooke Castillo a couple months ago.
- Please write a review if you like this podcast. Go to your podcast app and find the reviews section. Thank you!
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Hey everyone. I’m Kris Plachy, and this is How to Lead for Female Entrepreneurs and Founders because the best way to grow a business is to grow the person who’s running it. Let’s go ahead and get started. Hello, and welcome to the podcast. I’m Kris Plachy. I’m so glad you’re here today. So today we’re going to talk about delegating. But one of the things I want to tell you is, I’m giving you today like it’s a delegation checklist, super-fast things to think about so that you can start getting better results when you delegate.
I am going to be releasing to my subscriber list a video series that’s all about achieving results with others, out of others who report to you. And so if you’re not currently subscribed to my list, I want to invite you to go to krisplachy.com/connect and get on my list, so you start getting some of this valuable material that I’m going to be releasing, just giving it to you and you don’t have to do anything to get it.
So this is a very high level discussion on delegating because I hear from so many of you are frustrated, you are. I’ll raise my hand as well. I know it’s a very challenging topic to delegate and get the results that you want. So for today, I’m just going to give you the things I know you have to make sure you’re doing to be very thoughtful about the process you delegate with. And then the videos that I’ll be releasing, take this to a different level.
So I really want to make sure you get those if you’re struggling with this in your business. And thank you to those of you who have posted reviews. If you haven’t posted a review yet, I just want to invite you again to please do so. It means a lot, certainly means a lot to me. I sit here in my beautiful office talking to you and I imagine you wherever you are in the world and in fact, it’s always fun if you say so in your review where you are. I love hearing from people in Brazil and Namibia and New York City and Australia. It’s super fun. I even have people who right here in my hometown, which is fun.
So delegating checklist. All right, pay attention. You ready? Number one, before you even delegate, you’ve got to do a little work. And here’s what I want you to do. You have to decide if what you’re asking somebody to do is a tactical assignment or a strategic assignment. How do we know the difference? A tactical assignment means this is something that just needs to be done. It would be like if you were just hiring two more hands that could do the work. It’s done, the process is set. We just need to do it. We need to send the email, we need to proof the grammar, we need to change something on a web page. It’s, it’s not anything that you need other people to do other than you just don’t have enough time.
And so this is buying time through execution of hands through someone else. Okay? You got to make sure that that’s clear or it’s strategic, which means the process doesn’t exist. And you’re hiring a brain. You are delegating to someone else’s mind to figure out a process so that a result is achieved. And they may not actually do the work. They may then delegate tactics to someone else. But when you make an assignment, when you delegate something to someone, you have to make sure that you’ve thought about this because the worst thing you could do is give hands work to a strategic thinker. They’re terrible at it.
Or give strategic work process work to someone who’s really more equipped to be hands. We need both in our company. Not one is better than the other. And if you’re a small business, you might be the strategic one. So you have to set up the process and then you hire the hands to do the work. But that means you have to teach them. But the process is. All too often, what we do as entrepreneurs is, we see in our brain what we want done and we just wish somebody else could do it.
And then we think that someone else is going to set up a process or even do the process the way that we want them to and they don’t. They screw it up. And that’s not their fault. It’s our fault because we’re abdicating and not delegating. We’re just wishing it would be done. We say to someone, “Can you please make this happen?” We think they know what we mean and they don’t. They know what they mean in their brain. And that’s what they give you and then you lose your mind because it’s not what you want it.
So that’s your first exercise. And honestly, I think that is where the majority of us go wrong is, we don’t figure out first, this is the tactical or strategic function? Doc job, task, outcome. Tactics, they follow an existing process. They get it done. Strategic, we’re hiring a brain to think about the process and make it happen that way. Deliver a result. Once you’ve done that, then you really have to write it out.
In the podcast, I did with Brooke Castillo a couple of months ago. She said something that I thought was so brilliant. She said, “I always wanted people to read my mind and it finally occurred to me, if I really want them to read my mind, I have to write it down and then they literally can read my mind.” I think she called it rule number seven, or something like that. So you’ve got to write it out. Here’s what I want done.
You’re right, if tactical position, here’s the process to follow. Or if it’s a tactical task, is the process to follow. If it’s a process, here’s the result that I want. And be specific. Don’t leave anything to chance. If it can be assumed, you have to over communicate. Okay? So it takes time, but it’s worth it. Then you assign it, “Hey Joyce, I’d like you to do this. I’d like it done. And these are the three things that you need to always include in these delegation conversations, by when there has to be a date? Asking the person what obstacles they anticipate achieving the result that you want by the date that you’ve assigned, and asking them how they will let you know that it’s done.”
So Joyce, I would like you to have this Excel spreadsheet sorted and organized by region by tomorrow at four. Do you anticipate any obstacles achieving that outcome? Yes or no? And then how will I know it’s done? Oh, I’ll email it to you. Oh, I’ll text you when I’m finished. Oh, I’ll post it in a sauna. Awesome. By four o’clock. Yes. Great. That’s how we make an assignment, by when, what obstacles do you anticipate, and how will I know it’s done? Don’t we follow up.
So when you first start delegating to someone, you need to put on your calendar when something should have been done by so that you can stay on top of it. Eventually, that will get better and easier for you to do with someone. But initially, you’ve got to keep yourself honest in terms of the commitments that you’ve made with someone else, or the commitments they’ve made to you.
Your follow up is so essential. It’s critical really to this whole process. It’s not just about them getting the work. It’s also them doing it and meeting the expectations and just human nature, you guys, people forget stuff and then if you have a habit of not following up, that starts to build a cadence in terms of how you guys work together. And as much as we don’t love that, if people know that you’re not going to follow up, they will start to push stuff off.
So you have to stay on top of things. You have to be clear about what you expect. And then you give people feedback. This was great. This is exactly what I expected. This isn’t what I expected. Here’s what I thought would be in here that wasn’t, can you please redo it? Can you please add this? Can you please do the whole thing over again? You have to not be afraid to tell people if they didn’t the expectation. But the key here is, the first few times this happens, you have to understand you’re the one who has to take responsibility for that. I must not have been clear. I probably didn’t explain this right. I think I probably missed a step. Let me be more clear. Let me zero in. Take responsibility. Just do it. Don’t argue with me. Just take ownership for the fact that they didn’t deliver something you wanted and it’s because you didn’t explain it clearly.
Now, once you do this enough and you get really good at explaining things, you don’t have to do that. But initially, if you were my client right now, I’m going to tell you right now, you do not get to blame your employees for not doing what they want you wanted them to do because that’s on you. I am willing to bet, nine times out of ten, you were not clear. You thought you were, but you weren’t.
And in the video that I did on delegation, I think you’re going to see, I give you a lot more insight on that. But let’s just go with me telling you right now that I’m right and you weren’t clear. And so just assume responsibility for the lack of clarity and the lack of and their ability to not nor inability to deliver what you wanted and reframe, redirect, and put it back out there, but they have to be the ones who do it. You are not allowed to. They’ll go fix what they didn’t do right, so you could have whatever it is you need. That does not foster long term results through other people. That just fosters now. You’re paying someone to deliver something, it’s not what you wanted and now you’re going to go do it anyway. So now you’re paying for it twice.
We need these people that you hire to learn how to deliver what you want, but the only way they’re going to learn is if you teach them. And the only way you’re going to teach them is through the feedback loop process, which I appreciate, makes you want to scream and rip your hair out. But humans are humans and we have brains and we all make things mean different things. And just because the words came out of your mouth does not mean that’s what they heard you say. Patience part one.
Learning how to delegate is a superpower, but it takes some time. So that’s your short checklist today for delegation. That’s a short podcast. Boom, boom, boom. Go practice. Assess if it’s a tactical or strategic job, task, outcome, write down specifically what you want, either the process they need to follow, or the result they need to achieve, or both. Assign it, have the buy when, obstacles they might encounter, and how you will know if they delivered or if it’s done, included in that, follow up, and then give feedback. Try it today. Let me know how it goes. I’ll talk to you soon.
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