Interview with Investment Executive- How to Delegate

Don’t do it yourself — delegate! Assigning functions to others frees you up to do what you do best

By Fiona Collie | June 05, 2012

Delegating tasks to team members keeps you focused — and your business growing.

When you assign jobs to team members — instead of doing them yourself — you spend more time on the activities you excel at as an advisor. And that ultimately helps you grow your business, says Rosemary Smyth, coach and owner of Rosemary Smyth and Associates in Victoria, which specializes in coaching financial advisors.

Follow these tips to delegate tasks properly to your team:

> Find the right person
Delegate to the most appropriate team member to make sure the task gets done.

Consider the strengths of each team member, says Smyth, and assign the task to the person best suited for the job.

For example, if you need someone to call clients who attended an event the day before, choose a team member who is comfortable on the phone and has a good rapport with clients.

> Time it right
Make sure your team member has time to work on the task you need performed.

Before you delegate, consider the time frame for the task and how much you are adding to the team member's day, Smyth says. For example, an assistant may not be able to take on additional work during RRSP season or if he or she is about to leave on vacation.

> Ask nicely
Remember, by delegating a task, you are adding to your staff member's work load. So, it's important to be considerate.

Frame the conversation in a positive context, Smyth says. For example, instead of telling your assistant that he or she must input client data, ask that it be done as a favour to you.

As well, be clear about what the task entails, Smyth says, and when you need it to be completed.

> Say "thank you"
Show your appreciation when a team member agrees to perform an extra task.

Thank that person, Smyth says, and acknowledge his or her efforts. For instance, you might mention what a big learning curve it was for him or her, or thank the team member for finishing the task ahead of schedule.

> Stick to the plan
If the team member is struggling with a task or taking longer than expected to complete it, Smyth says, do not take him or her off the task.

Instead, sit down with the employee and talk about what problems he or she is having with the assignment and how you can help.

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© 2009 Rosemary Smyth & Associates