1. Know What You Want. If you don’t know what you want, you can’t expect anyone else to. No one can be a “mind reader.”
2. Express What You Want Clearly. It’s important to give people a clear vision of what you want. What are your goals? What do you need done? Providing instructions can be helpful too, but don’t overdo that aspect of it. The most important thing is that you express everything you want very clearly.
3. Set Expectations. It’s not enough that you’ve told someone what you want. Make sure expectations are laid on the table. “This will be successful if X, Y and Z happen.” And, “I need X, Y and Z finished by Friday.”
4. Trust. You need to trust those people you delegate to, otherwise you’ll worry too much, micro-manage and generally make a nuisance of yourself.
5. Let Them Do It Their Way. You do things your way, and everyone else has to do it exactly the same way or else. Right? Wrong. Let people do things their way (remember the trust?) More importantly, provide enough flexibility that they can add their own flavor to the mix. Let them create. Let them add unique touches to what they’re doing.
6. Communicate and Follow-Up. Delegating doesn’t mean abandoning someone to do something until it’s complete. You want to be communicating throughout the process (rinse and repeat steps 1-4) and following-up with people to make sure everything is going smoothly. This isn’t about over-managing, over-analyzing and standing over people’s shoulders staring at their computer screens. At the same time, we don’t want to manage with a Jell-O Fist. Communication is key, setting measurable mini-goals along the way, and carefully but not over-zealously monitoring progress.