How to delegate

Don’t be squeamish about shedding your workload, says Sarah Neish


How to delegate

Let go. ‘Are you reluctant to hand over a task because you’re worried someone else will do it better?’ asks career coach Corinne Mills. ‘Those who struggle to delegate often hoard their knowledge. They aren’t good at sharing skills, as they like to feel needed.’ A successful career doesn’t mean being the best at everything, but knowing when to use the right people.

Give and take. Don’t think of delegation as shirking, but as giving a task the time it deserves. ‘Explain to colleagues that it’s important, and ask if you could divide the job up between you,’ says Mills. If you make it clear you’re willing to return the favour, they will be more inclined to help.

Trust others. Delegating allows you to show trust in people, which strengthens teams, says Mills. ‘Establish what you need from the other person, then step back. While a mid-way check is a good idea, looking over someone’s shoulder feels oppressive, and it will seem as though you can’t let go.’

Make it fun. Offload interesting tasks whenever possible, as well as the boring, unpleasant ones. You don’t want colleagues to feel they’re doing your dirty work. ‘Everyone needs a personal incentive,’ says Mills. ‘So explain what’s in it for them, whether it’s an opportunity to learn a new skill, or meet new people.’

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