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Tips for More Effective Delegation

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A common concern for business operators is the idea that “nobody can complete a task as well as I can.” Feeling like nobody can do things as well as you is a barrier that prevents shop owners from letting go, says Patrick Donadio, a business communications coach who teaches courses for the Automotive Management Institute. And, if you can’t let go, your shop won’t be able to grow. Delegating is a process, but it’s one that can benefit both shop owners and employees.

“It’s a critical skill for leaders,” says Sharon Gregory, an organizational development expert with PPG and owner of SBG Learning Strategies. “They either micromanage the employee or totally drop it on the employee and expect them to know what to do.”

But before delegating, find the person who is capable of taking on certain tasks. Think strategically when hiring new employees, identify their personality traits, and analyze each employee’s drive and desire to do more.

Here are six tips for more effective delegation:

  1. Use “degrees of authority” to test employee abilities. Give an employee a small, specific task. If they succeed, then give the employee more responsibility.
  2. Set goals and objectives together. Be clear and specific about what you want the employee to do and what the end result should look like. In addition, make a decision together about a deadline for completing the task.
  3. Assign tasks with confidence. People might feel flattered that they are asked to take on a new responsibility, Gregory says, but often times, that comes with timidness, too.
  4. Acknowledge that delegating is a process, not an event. Delegating is about giving somebody a skill to learn so you won’t have to worry about that task in the future.
  5. Create a feedback loop. When you’re training somebody in on a new task, allow them to check in with you periodically to make any course corrections.
  6. Have a review process. Meet with the employee after the task is complete to discuss successes and problems. If things went well, give positive recognition. If things went poorly, turn it into a learning opportunity and create a plan for improvement.     


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