Say what? Sounds like a crazy thing to say, me being a proponent of “hiring your virtual team” and such… isn’t delegation a part of that?
I actually have a bit of a different perspective on this and it is based on my belief that:
Your virtual team should be taking stuff OFF your plate,
not adding work to your plate.
Delegation is actually a lot of work when you think about it. In order to delegate effectively you need to be able to decide – usually on a day to day basis – what needs to be done, who is best to do it, give specifics on how it needs to be done, set deadlines, answer any of their questions, follow up to make sure it is done, etc. Phew!
I’m actually a fan of coming at this from a slightly different but hugely significant angle – releasing instead of delegating.
I recorded a video a few weeks back that talks about the two different mindsets of virtual support professionals – the business mindset vs. the employee mindset. (If you haven’t seen the video yet you can watch it here.)
In a nutshell, someone with a business mindset really gets that they are the expert, they are the specialist and are providing a valuable service to you. When you talk to someone with a business mindset they are going to say something like “here’s how I can help you” – they will TELL you what they can do for you.
Someone with an employee mindset usually has the best intention at heart and really wants to help – but they don’t yet have the understanding, experience or knowledge to approach you as an expert in their field. Instead they approach you from the perspective of “how can I help you?” – they ASK you how they can help.
If you consider this for a moment you can actually feel the difference here… if someone TELLS you how they can help that actually takes work off your plate. They are clear on what they are doing and what needs to be done – it’s like a sigh of relief!!
When someone ASKS you how they can help that actually adds work to your plate. It now becomes up to you to tell that person what to do, how to do it, when to do it, follow up to make sure it gets done, etc… this is A LOT of work for many business owners (and quite frankly something that many of us do poorly as it’s not our strength).
Most of the business owners I talk to would love to have someone with a business mindset – we are hungry to get this stuff off our plates!
Now when you have someone in place who has a business mindset your “job” is no longer about delegation… it’s now about release. You don’t have to tell them what to do – instead they are telling you! Your job then is just to learn how to let go, how to release what needs to be done so someone else can take care of it for you.
Now I know for many of us the actual job of releasing can be tough (my fellow control freaks out there, LOL). There is a learning curve for many of us in knowing how to do so. It’s not just about throwing everything at someone and leaving them be – there is a process that we teach for you to be able to get what you need from your team while still freeing yourself up from the details.
Aaaaaahhhhh… love that.
Ready to start releasing?© Copyright 2010 Tina Forsyth