4 Ways for Control Freaks to Get Comfortable Delegating Tasks

Some things only you can do. Start trusting your team with everything else.

learn more about Jacqueline Whitmore

By Jacqueline Whitmore

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The most successful leaders achieve their goals by capitalizing on their strengths and letting go of the tasks that hinder their productivity. To transition out of the "do-it-yourself" phase and into actually planning and running your business, you must put your trust in others and learn to delegate tasks. Here are four strategic tips that will make this process simpler.

1. Clearly define the task.

Start by outlining the parameters of the assignment -- resources, deadlines and expected results -- to provide the individual or team with the means to excel. Offer the appropriate support and feedback to avoid confusion and frustration.

Schedule weekly or bi-monthly check-in sessions to touch base on progress, make revisions and provide timely feedback. Keep the meetings short and succinct. By keeping everyone in the loop you will improve productivity.

Related: Essential Elements of Working With a Business Partner

2. Match the task to the right individual or team.

Task failures occur when an individual either isn't ready to take on the job, or when the task is greater than what the employee or contractor can handle.

When matching individuals or teams to projects, take into consideration their ability, skills, experience and goals. Some tasks are more mundane than others. In this case, find someone who thrives on routine tasks. For the more intricate projects, find someone who likes a challenge and knows to tackle the manageable parts of the job before diving into the more complicated aspects.

Give employees who feel stagnant in their current roles new projects that broaden their skills. If you feel resistance on assignments, explain the relevance of the project and reassure your employees that you will help train and support them throughout the process, as necessary.

Keep your expectations high, yet try not to overload or overwhelm your team or burnout will ensue.

3. Support and communicate.

Your job, as the leader, is to mentor and coach your team to acquire the skills to become leaders themselves while making them feel included in the success of your business.

Provide constructive feedback and offer meaningful guidance. Motivate employees with positive comments, creative incentive structures, rewards and recognition.

Keep the lines of communication open. It's wise to keep a pulse on what's going on but that doesn't mean be a micro-manager. Always remember to express gratitude and appreciation to energize your team and keep morale up.

Related: Getting the Best From Every Employee: Communication Techniques That Work

4. Trust your instincts.

Your ability to effectively delegate reflects your good leadership skills. Good delegation saves you time, aids in employee development and motivates individuals to succeed. Poor delegation, on the other hand, only leads to confusion, frustration and even failure.

Pick the right person for the job, then then trust your instincts. It pays to allow others to do what you can't or don't like to do, so you can focus on the big picture. And that's developing and growing your business.

Related: Go With Your Gut: How to Use Your Intuition to Succeed in Business

Jacqueline Whitmore

Author, Business Etiquette Expert and Founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach

Jacqueline Whitmore is an etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach in Palm Beach, Fla. She is the author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals (St. Martin's Press, 2011) and Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work (St. Martin's Press, 2005).

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