We usually try to do everything at the same time, and technology makes us believe we actually can. But that’s not true. Don’t try to do everything by yourself and delegate tasks whenever you need to. It’s essential to improve our personal productivity, but also to let others have the opportunity to show their talent.

Delegating according to Stephen Covey

In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey points out five keys to good delegating. The essential is to focus on the final outcome and give the people in charge of each task enough freedom to do things their way. To make it possible, you should first set clear instructions of what you want.

  1. Set the desired result. You have to make sure you know what you want and you need to pass that information on to the other person so they can choose the best way to do it. The ideal thing is for you to be able to define the result in a measurable way so that evaluating will be easier.
  2. Provide clear guidelines. Although the person in charge needs to have total freedom, you must be clear about what you want. An effective communication is essential to avoid misunderstandings.
  3. Establish the resources available. Time is one of the most important resources when performing any task. Once you know what your resources are, you need to know what their impact on the final outcome will be.
  4. Set deadlines. Set different timelines in order to keep track of the task’s progress and to evaluate its final outcome. This is a very important aspect for you and also for the people doing the work since it’s the key for them to set a good planning.
  5. The consequences need to be clear. Make sure the ones you have delegated the job to perfectly know the benefits they can obtain after performing this task. That way, they will be much more motivated.


What does delegating involve?

The most important thing to remember is that you delegate a task, but not the responsibility. Despite the fact that someone else is taking care of the job, you can’t avoid any responsibility and commitment.

The most difficult thing is to take the first step. Trusting your company’s talent and being sure of the delegated person’s ability to be successful is essential. That’s why the best thing is to start by delegating simple tasks and gradually get into more complicated ones.

You have to take into account that, at first, delegating requires dedicating more time to a task in order to be sure that it’ll be done following your guidelines. Be careful, you have to provide with guidelines but not to be an obstacle to creativity and to the point of view of the other person.

Delegating tasks will not only help you be more productive, but it will help you to better manage your time. Trusting the abilities of others opens a door for everybody to develop new skills and to prove their talent.

Translation by Pablo Velázquez.

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