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Delegation – Could you improve how you do it?

by lyn christian on September 23, 2010

If delegation is not working for you, you might need to improve how you delegate.

The truth is we are always delegating. We don’t really think about it, yet it is true. In our modern society we’ve gotten pretty good at allowing other people to: deliver our mail, milk the cows, build our cars and design our clothing.

It isn’t difficult to perceive how we are fairly skilled at delegating within a collective. However, most of us need to imagine ways to start delegating better in our smaller circles of influence. As entrepreneurs we believe in ourselves so much that we forget, or have never learned how to leverage the talented folks around us.

So I suggest the first place to begin delegating better is to let go of some of the reasons why you might not be doing it well to start with:

  • We don’t delegate because we don’t know what we can or should give away
  • Sometimes we don’t delegate because we think we don’t have enough support to hand things off. However, usually we don’t pass things off because we don’t have enough trust or faith in other people’s abilities.
  • At times we hold onto things because we want the experience or credit for the work that will be completed.
  • We forget or don’t even think of including the people we delegate to within the planning stage of the work that will be passed off to them.

If you stop doing the above activities, you can immediately be better at delegating by doing the following:

  • Ask for help in knowing what to delegate. Generally I find that my clients can eliminate 5 to 10% of what they are currently doing. Coaches, friends and co-workers are great at helping get a reality check on you can delegate and what you can’t.
  • Begin believing in others and giving other people a chance to grow, learn, do, and contribute.
  • See yourself as a builder of other people’s capacity. Get credit for mentoring rather than from doing everything.
  • Bring people in early, listen to their ideas, implement some of their ideas and remember that one big lesson you learned in preschool – Play well with others!

Rest assured that when it comes to delegation, if you do it right, everyone is happier and healthier. The world sure could use a few healthier and happier entrepreneurs.

Lyn Christian is the founder of SoulSalt, Inc., a coaching and coach training company. She is passionate about the “free-agent” worker who wants to earn their living and live their lives by doing what inspires them. Get more information by visiting or contact Lyn directly through

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