Interview Patty

Do You Struggle to Delegate?

This article is based on critical questions I’m often asked by clients, who are smart and savvy women entrepreneurs ready for change.

From improving cash flow…. to increasing staff productivity…. to scaling for growth, these periods of transition — and so many more — provide both challenges and opportunities. Managed effectively, change can become a productive force for growth. The Block Group harnesses that potential, bringing together the people, resources and ideas that build results.

Patty-W-Block-Small-2All the best! 

Patty Block

©The Block Group Inc. All rights reserved.

Building Solid Companies That Move Forward

What is the Question?


Remember the game-show Jeopardy? You’re given statements and have to determine the question.

Imagine you’re playing ‘Leadership Jeopardy’ with ‘Delegation’ as one of the categories.

“I’ll take Delegation for $500, Bob.” The statements could be any one of the following:

  1. “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”
  2. “My team members are all too busy to take on more work.”
  3. “I’m too busy to teach them the right way.”

What is the question? What is: “Why don’t I delegate?”

As leaders, we have two major priorities: to think strategically and to develop our teams. Have you found the same problem I have? We won’t have time to do the first unless we’re committed to the second.

Steven Sinofsky, former President of the Windows Division at Microsoft, stresses “When you delegate work to the member of the team, your job is to clearly frame success and describe the objectives.” Setting and managing expectations is a hallmark of effective delegation.

Building a solid company that moves forward requires effective leadership and strong infrastructure. When your team understands what success looks like and the expectations you have for achieving it, this puts your business on solid footing and positions it for strategic growth.

Ultimately, every business owner who wants to scale for growth must invest in building communication systems, infrastructure, business processes and training programs that foster expansion as efficiently as possible. This takes leadership.

Many small business owners struggle to find the time and energy to train their staff. When there is a training program, it typically focuses on providing client services, not on foundational skills, like communication and leadership skills.

If you are so busy with daily business issues that you can’t focus on strategic issues – for your company or for your clients, a focus on building leadership skills will allow you to delegate more effectively and transform your company.

How Do I Know?


These early warning signs are among the most common concerns we hear from women business owners we work with. How many of these resonate with you?

  • Is your staff confused about what is expected of them on a daily basis?
  • Does your staff understand how their tasks fit into the bigger picture?
  • Are you frustrated with the quality of the work from staff?
  • Do you stay up late fixing work from your staff?
  • Do you lose employees on a regular basis?
  • Do you struggle to standardize customer service so your clients have consistent experiences?
  • Are you embarrassed every time you have to deal with an unhappy client?
  • Do you suffer so much stress with daily activities that you can’t focus on strategic issues – for your company or for your clients?

What Happens Next?


Ignoring these early warning signs leads to serious consequences. How many of these are you already suffering from?

  • Is your revenue unsteady because you can’t focus on business development?
  • Are your relationships with clients and employees suffering?
  • Are you having trouble attracting or retaining high-quality staff?
  • Do you have unprofitable client accounts?
  • Is your company growth stunted?
  • Is your company reputation suffering?
  • Is your emotional stress level over the top?

How Do I Fix This?


The next time you delegate to your staff, spend some time evaluating why previous efforts left you frustrated. There are 4 root causes of performance failure. Your employee is either:

1. Unaware: Perhaps your employee doesn’t understand the task, your expectations, or what a good result looks like. In this case, you can provide feedback to clarify and raise awareness.

2. Unable: Does your employee have the skills and training to complete the task well? In this case, you can provide internal or external training and enhance their ability.

3. Unwilling: When you know the employee has the skills and training, and understands the expectations, but is still not completing the task well, this may be a lack of discipline and motivation. This is often a reaction to poor leadership.

4. Unsuitable: If you have addressed the first 3 causes with no improvement, it is time to evaluate if the employee is right for the job.

When you define and communicate your vision, building your company culture around that, you bring clarity, confidence, and control to your company. Within this leadership framework, you can learn new techniques for delegating, giving productive feedback, and holding staff accountable.

The hallmarks of our Pride-Based Leadership® program are instilling pride, inspiring people, learning to delegate, and providing discipline and accountability.

With foundational programs, such as Interpersonal Communication Skills, Assertive Communication and Dealing with Conflict, and Pride-Based Leadership®, our company provides a training and coaching platform to:

  • Develop a common language around communications and leadership
  • Learn practical techniques that can be practiced and applied quickly
  • Increase effectiveness regarding interpersonal interactions
  • Respond effectively to challenging interactions
  • Improve customer service and satisfaction

While this may feel overwhelming, by working with a trusted advisor who has a proven track record of success in training teams, it takes the burden from you and your key employees.

Can You Give Me An Example?


For service companies, it is very common to hire young people, who may have limited work experience. Business owners know they need to train these workers in the business’ service, but are often surprised by their limited interpersonal communication skills.

That’s where we come in. Our programs are designed in modules that progress from foundational skills to more advanced techniques, like dealing with conflict. We can then build the employees’ skills and confidence, leading to our leadership program.

A long-time client and well-respected public relations firm uses the training in this progressive way. This savvy business owner has us provide the Interpersonal Communication Skills training and coaching to all employees who are promoted to account manager. She then selected her most experienced team members to serve on a management team, and we provided the Pride-Based Leadership® program and incorporated Assertive Communication and Dealing with Conflict.

With a combination of group workshops and one-on-one coaching, we fostered team spirit, improved both internal and external communication, increased productivity, and reduced stress!

Now What?


With a professional development program, all aspects of your business will benefit from increased efficiency, improved work-flow, service delivery, and customer service.

Take the frustration and fear out of delegating by using the 4 root causes of performance failure. Then remember to delegate by setting expectations, solid training, and inspiring your team to great results!

Business Coach in Houston


All the best! 

Patty Block

©The Block Group Inc. All rights reserved.

Building Solid Companies That Move Forward

Building Blocks

7941 Katy Fwy. #414
Houston, TX 77024 USA

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