Three tips for dealing with your fear of delegation

Here at Time Saving Heroes we’re used to working with business owners who don’t necessarily have a lot of experience in managing other people.  Some have never been employed by anyone else, and others have not had managerial positions.

That tends to mean that whilst they are brilliant at what they do, they’re not used to delegating tasks to others.  I’m not saying that makes them control freaks, but …

Hey, we’ve all been there.  If you want something doing right, and all that. The problem with releasing control, even a little bit, is the risk that a task won’t get done right, or as well as you might have done it.

However, the real problem comes when you let that stop you from passing on things you don’t need to do.  If you keep hold of everything within your business, there is a very real risk that you’ll burn out – and that doesn’t benefit anyone.

Control isn’t about keeping hold of everything yourself, it’s about managing risk and delegating what you can, to the best person, whenever you can.

If you want an extra pair of hands, or some support as and when you need it, but are worried how you’re going to manage it, our top three tips might help.

# 1 – Figure out where to focus

No matter how amazing you are, there’s only so many hours in a day. You might be happy working 10, 12, or even 18 of them but that can only last for so long, and in our experience there’s a good chance some things still won’t get done.

As a business owner you need to work out where your time can best be spent.  Yes, invoicing is important but do you have to do it?  Could someone take that over, or even automate the process to save time, so you can focus your attention on the things only you can do?

Such things could be strategic thinking, building relationships, sales, new product development and so on.  You can’t outsource those things so easily, but you can let go of the time consuming admin.

We have seen so many business owners who don’t have time to work on their business, and take it to the next level because they’re so busy working in it on day to day operations.

# 2 – What are you scared of?

Our Time Saving Heroes pride themselves on being honest and open, and we always encourage are clients to be the same. Therefore, if you feel uncomfortable about working with someone else (even though you know it makes sense to), we want you to talk about those fears.

Vague feelings of discomfort are quite disempowering and will invariably mean you don’t go anywhere.  If we can help you clarify what it is that’s bothering you, we can actually help you to address that issue and move on.

For example, we’ve had clients say before that they worry the work won’t get done, or it won’t get done as well as they would do it themselves. Some even worry that they’re inconveniencing us when they pick up the phone to ask for a task to be done, or they come across as being bossy.

The flip side of course is asking how they feel when they hold on to everything themselves, then the conversation starts to change.

I’m stressed, frustrated, sleep deprived, anxious, out of control and standing still.

# 3 – Minimise the risk

It’s all very well us saying we’re amazing, we could even point you in the direction of our reviews and client testimonials, but that doesn’t help you that much if you’re genuinely anxious about taking that first step.

That’s why we want to work with you from the outset to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. We’ll look at your fears and then figure out ways to put checks in place to make you feel comfortable.

Taking the above example of work not getting done, we agreed with one client to use a task management system which they could use to assign and track tasks sent to their Time Saving Hero. They could set deadlines, and monitor progress remotely and therefore still felt they had control of the situation, without having to be completely involved. Within a few weeks that fear was gone because they realised everything was completed as agreed.

 

It is scary, and yes it can feel a little time consuming in the beginning as you get used to working with someone else, but the truth is, whilst you can do anything you most certainly can’t do everything.

If you’re ready to have a chat about how a Virtual Assistant can help save you time and money, pick up the phone and call us on 0161 883 2024. We’re happy to help, and have a chat about what you might need to delegate.

 

 

What do you think the biggest challenge would be in this role?

Back in April 2014 we wrote a piece outlining some of the questions I think it would be wise to ask a Virtual Assistant before you started working with them.  Since then we’ve been answering these questions so you’ve got an idea of my stance when it comes to work, and whether or not Time Saving Heroes might be the right solution for your business.

Today we’re looking at what the biggest challenge might be in a VA role.

Of course, it’s difficult to answer that question accurately right now without having a specific client in mind. However, there are some things that often come up when starting a new VA working relationship, so I’ll tackle those.

Feeling overwhelmed

Many clients get in touch with a VA because they’ve reached the point where they want to clone themselves. Essentially they have so much to do, and too little time to do it that they end up feeling completely overwhelmed.

Unfortunately, that feeling can last well in to a VA relationship with clients feeling so confused about what it is they want to achieve, and therefore unsure what they should be offloading to their new right hand woman.

It’s perfectly common, but it can take a little while to get over.  Personally I always sit down with a new client and ask them what their biggest problems are at the moment, and what it is they want to achieve.  We then start with that, and wait for everything else to naturally fall in to place.

Failure to delegate

The vast majority of my clients are microbusiness owners or sole traders. As a result they’re the only people that have ever worked in the business, and it really is like their baby.  It’s one thing recognises that they need help to take things to the next level, but it’s a whole other ball game actually getting to the point where help is accepted.

Many clients find delegating hard work, especially if they don’t have any real management experience behind them.  Problems can arise if they worry that they won’t get done, or that it won’t get done to a good enough standard.  Some even worry that they’re going to come across as being bossy if they keep putting demands on you (even though it’s your job).

Again, I always sit down and try to get to the route of the problem and ascertain why they’re reluctant to delegate work when they know they need to.  Talking through their feelings, potential control issues and what they’re worried about is a great way to get them to see the bigger picture, and start to resolve the barriers they’re putting up.

I’m 50% VA and 50% therapist most of the time.

Communication

Communication can be an issue in any relationship, but when you’re predominantly working in a virtual capacity it can all be made a lot worse.  Clients will always have a preference as to how they want to work, even if they don’t openly state it.

Conflicts can arise if they tell you to email them with everything, but then don’t respond to the emails because actually they’d prefer you to call.  Or vice versa.

Some clients really want someone to be in charge of them, but they don’t articulate that.  Which means you can spend a few weeks waiting patiently for them to get back to you, when in reality they need you to pick up the phone and nag them.

All new relationships take a while to settle down, and a good VA working relationship is no different. You have to take the time to get to know each other and find a way to work in harmony together.  Once that’s done, there really are no problems.