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How to Delegate to a Virtual Assistant Part 4: Eight Steps to Effective Delegation

By following a series of steps each time you delegate you’ll achieve clarity in your requests and overall communication; avoiding unnecessary issues or misunderstandings. You’ll also feel more secure in the process of handing work off to someone else, and most importantly you’ll achieve better end results.

There are countless ‘Top Tips’ available online for effective delegation. We’ve put together our own list, relative to the unique nature of working with a professional virtual assistant.

Eight Steps to Effective Delegation

Eight Steps to Effective Delegation

1. Determine the task. Select a task that would ordinarily keep you busy, thus freeing you up to work on other, more important things. Or, choose to delegate something that will provide a launch pad or starting point for a larger, long-term project you’ve had brewing in the back of your mind but haven’t found the time to orchestrate.

2. Clearly define desired results. Obviously, the more clarity you can offer regarding your expectations, the better the outcome will be. Give your virtual assistant more than just a task to complete, attach attainable goals to work toward.

3. Provide direction. In most cases, a professional virtual assistant who is familiar with your business and/or industry is not going to need direction, so to speak. But do freely share specific information you’re able to provide and anticipate your VA will need to successfully complete the project.

4. Ask for feedback. Make sure your request and relative expectations are well-received. Also ask your virtual assistant for feedback or suggestions on how the project might be (better) executed, how he or she can help you achieve the results you’re looking for, and any other input they might have to offer. Remember, your virtual assistant is an expert in their own right, picking their brain is one of the perks! As Woodrow Wilson once said:

I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.

5. Determine a time frame. Before leaving the task in your virtual assistant’s hands, discuss the task’s projected time frame (be sure to clearly define any applicable deadlines). Allow for the fact that your virtual assistant likely has other clients to manage as well – don’t pressure for unrealistic turnaround times.

6. Recap. Once all of the information has been shared and thoroughly discussed, issue a brief recap of your understanding of what will be done, how it will be done, and when it will be done by. This will help bring up any lingering questions or items that still need to be addressed and ensure a smooth start to your project.

7. Let go. Congratulations! You’ve just delegated a task that was otherwise going to eat up your schedule, and created more time for yourself to focus on something else. Now, let your virtual assistant run with it. Assuming you’ve put all the correct and necessary pieces in place (competent service provider, clear task description and expectations) you can now anticipate a successfully completed project. It’s also a good idea to invite your virtual assistant to feel free to get in touch with any questions or issues that might crop up during the course of the project.

8. Show appreciation. All service providers enjoy positive feedback from their clients for a job well done. If the project is delivered as expected (or better) and on time (or sooner) let your virtual assistant know that you see it as a success.

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The Virtual Assistant Information blog provides free information for small businesses, entrepreneurs, startups, executives and individuals interested in learning more about hiring and working with a virtual assistant. We’re part of Virtual Assistantville, a premium virtual assistant directory where you can find and hire a professional virtual assistant to help support your business.