“Carol, come in here for a second. I’ve got about two dozen things I need you to take care of,” says Ms. Boss.
Carol dutifully comes in, notepad in hand, and writes down the details of the tasks her boss is asking her to do.
Back at her desk, Carol she works through them. A couple of them have pieces she’s unsure about. Carol completes what she can and schedules a few minutes with Ms. Boss to discuss her questions on the remaining work.
As Carol hands over her completed work, Ms. boss gets a funny look in her face. Carol asks what’s wrong and the boss says, “Why are you giving me this?”
Equally confused, Carol says, “Well, in our meeting on Monday, you asked me to do five things. This is one of them, which is done. I’ve got questions about two of the other tasks.”
Visibly frustrated, Ms. Boss replies, “I don’t remember asking you to do this. I need you to spend your time on…” and launches into a rant about other more important work.
And with that, Carol goes into shut down mode, tremendously frustrated because she’d spent time and energy on tasks she is sure her boss asked her to do (afterall, she took notes!). Evidently these tasks weren’t really important – and Carol thinks she must not be important if the boss doesn’t remember the tasks, or that she even asked Carol to do them.
“How does this keep happening?” Carol shakes her head in frustration and starts to think about finding a new job.
Delegation as a Skill
A business owner or manager has a lot going on. It can be a pleasure to have a team to delegate tasks to – but it also involves responsibility.
Creating systems to manage those tasks, make sure they’re being worked on, and that they are completed on time, on budget, and with a level of competence you’d expect.
Just as you would expect your assistant or team member to take notes as you assign a task, so too should you. The mutual agreement of the scope of work to be done, the milestones and deadlines, plus the details of what the finished product will be are crucial.
Documenting these details, asking an assistant or team member to follow up on the milestones, and expressing gratitude when the work is done are all important parts of the delegation process.
Need help creating a system for delegation? Working with the business owner, assistant, and/or team is a specialty for us at MBS, Inc. Call us to help clear the delegation fog and let’s get some great work done! (704) 553-8082 or firstname.lastname@example.org