Working Parent Guide: Mastering the Art of Delegation

Delegation is considered to be an “art”, and for good reason. One – it’s not something that everyone can do, and secondly, even among those that can, only a few can delegate effortlessly and efficiently. Some let go completely while others hold on too tight – both of which can lead to confusion and frustration among everyone involved and a less-than satisfactory final result. It’s also an important skill to have if you want to attain professional and personal success.

Unlike other art forms, which we learn according to our interests, delegation is something that all of us, (especially working parents who have multiple responsibilities to fulfil and roles to play), need to learn. Knowing the what to, whom to, how to, when to, and how much to of delegation can greatly reduce the stress that working parents undergo every day. For them – whether they work from home or from an office – this skill is a life saver.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you master the art of delegation

Knowing your Schedule is Key

Before you can delegate, you need to know yours and your family’s schedule – a detailed list of tasks and responsibilities. This will help you figure out when you require people to assist you with your tasks, either at work or at home.

 Segregate your Task Lists

Split all the tasks on your schedule into sections – first divide them between professional and personal. Then segregate them further into those that require your personal involvement and those that can be outsourced or delegated to someone else.

 Decide on the Level of Delegation

Once you have separated out all the tasks that can be delegated, decide on the level of delegation – do you want to pass on complete responsibility or only a part of the task?

 Find the Right Person

Each task has its own people-requirement. For delegation to be successful, it is important to find the right person for the task. For example – you cannot delegate a research and data collation project to your regular data entry person – for this specific task, you would need to find someone who has at least some knowledge and experience of the topic.

Set the Ground Rules

For delegation to be successful and stress free for all involved, for work related tasks you need to list the deliverables, explain how the task is to be done and set the timelines and reporting structure. Similarly, for personal tasks, you need to provide the person with a complete description of what you expect from them and give them a list of do’s and don’ts with respect to that task.

Build Trust

Once you’ve delegated the task and shared all relevant information, then let that person do his/her job. Avoid interfering and step in only when asked to. Show the person that you trust their ability to do the assigned job which will help build trust from day one. By doing this, you will not only set the foundation for a good working relationship, but will also be able to give the person enough room to do the assigned job.

Follow Up

Knowing when and how much to follow up is also important. Too much too soon will not only suffocate and agitate the person, it will also take up a lot of your time and energy, thus defeating the purpose of delegation. Too little follow up can lead to the assumption that you don’t care, and make the other person lax. To avoid either of these situations, it is best to pre-determine how the follow up will be done and when.

By following these steps, you should be able to gradually find it easier to delegate work. The time that you save can be used to learn new things, spend quality time with your family or take up more challenging assignments and projects. If you’re already a master delegator or on your way to becoming one, have time, are working from home and looking for challenging assignments, then connect with us; our team will help you to find and explore relevant opportunities!