Poor delegations skills are a real time-waster, and poor delegation is usually brought on by the attitude “If you want something done right you have to do it yourself.” This is an attitude that lawyers seem to have in over-abundance.
As the author and psychology professor Dr. Amiram Elwork explains in Stress Management for Lawyers, poor delegation skills can really hinder a lawyer’s career advancement and create great stress, too. If you cannot effectively delegate work, you will never be able to maximize your achievement through the efforts of other people., limiting your ability to leverage your own talents. For that reason, any task in your office that can be done by someone else, should be. But how to you become more effective, and comfortable, in delegating work in your office?
First, spend the time to select good employees. Second, invest more time in training them on the “hows” and “whys” of doing each job right. Then, create a structure for effective delegation. Make sure that all delegated duties have a due date, and that you have a system in place for checking up on tasks when they are due. This will both make sure that things don’t fall through the cracks and will also reinforce to your employees that you are serious about due dates. And remember that we all learn best through trial and error. Expect some mistakes and turn them into warm, supportive teaching opportunities that will encourage your employees to try even harder the next time.
This investment of time and effort in your delegation process will pay dividends in terms of your own productivity and your ability to be responsive to your clients over the long run.