To quote Elsa from Frozen “Let it go!”  You cannot possibly do everything that you want to do, have to do or indeed need to do to please everyone, so with that in mind….learn to get other people to help you, start managing and stop doing.

Charity Managers are naturally busy people who tend to work long hours, have the mentality of first in and last out of the building and often have that “leave it to me” attitude.  When the “to do” list is just too long and never gets to be finished, this is the time to review responsibilities.

There are a number of things that Charity Managers should not be doing and if they are delegating certain tasks to the right people in the right way, so much more can be created and a much better job achieved overall.  Managers often do not let go of the things that they enjoy most, often a mistake, as these are tasks that can be easily let go of, especially if they are routine duties that can be documented and learnt by others.  Routines can be learned and staff are then developed and grow due to their increase in responsibility.

Why is delegation so difficult to do? Not only new Managers, seasoned ones too struggle to “let it go”.  Is it just that you don’t trust the member of staff to deliver the task as you would? Or are you actually scared that they will do it better than you? Quicker? With more value added?  No-one wants to be out-shined by their staff?  Or would that be so awful? Facing your fears and overcoming the psychological barriers to be able to delegate to the right person in the right way will make any Charity Manager look brilliant as they are assisting with making their own staff shine and build their own reputation as a leader who puts their staff first.

  1. Preparation – don’t leave delegating to the last minute, plan to delegate early so that your staff member is correctly briefed and you have sufficient confidence in their ability to undertake the role.
  2. Appraise – look at the skills, resources, aspirations and availability of your staff before deciding on who should receive your instructions and trust.
  3. Clarity – just delegate the responsibility for the completion of a task to one person and brief the other team members on this decision so that they can support that person.
  4. Timescales – agree these way ahead of delegation so that your team member has clear goals and measurable steps along their journey to completion.
  5. Overseeing the process – do not dump a task at someone’s door and run in the other direction and neither should you stand over their shoulder every minute whilst they are undertaking the task.  No one likes to be micro-managed, but they will appreciate some support and guidance when needed.  If you trust them to delegate to them, don’t then go back on this trust by checking in all the time!  Neither should you shirk all responsibility for anything to do with the task once delegated.
  6. Handling failure – if the task fails, don’t just take over and take it back 100% – work with the team member to get it back on track, re-brief and then leave them to complete in their own way.
  7. Celebrate! – ensure that you and your team celebrate the completion of the task at the end, but also during it’s completion so that the staff member is supported and encouraged along the way.


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