It can be hard to let go of control, especially when you have been put in charge of planning an event. Whether it’s your job or you have been entrusted to plan the perfect event for a beloved family member or friend, you know the outcome of the event is going to reflect directly on you. With so many moving parts in the event planning process, to make it the most successful event it can be, you have to give up some of that control and rely on the help of others.
Why Delegation Can Be So Hard
Other than worrying that others can’t do the job as well as you, delegation can be hard is because it seems like yet another thing to add to your growing list of things to do. The Harvard Business Review explains that you need to integrate delegation into your daily process.
“Make it part of your process for creating staff development plans. Discuss which types of projects and tasks you will pass on to them so that they can build the skills they need… Then create a cheat sheet that lists each person’s development plan and put it somewhere visible.”
Not only will this help you better manage your time, but staff members will be happy to help because they know how it fits into their development. It is important to recognize if you, like many—as Business News Daily points out—‘view success and value at work by how late you stay at the office, or how much time you spend outside of work answering emails and reviewing reports.’ Of course it is important to dedicate yourself to planning the best event you can, but overworking yourself can easily cause you to overlook things when it comes to the space or event itself.
All of this boils down to fear. Fear that if the event doesn’t go well, you will look bad. Fear that people can’t do the work the way you would. Fear that if you don’t spend all of your time planning, it may look like you don’t care. And as Forbes explains: “Fear gets the better of us while depriving others of a chance to show they care and share their gifts.”
Yes, Delegation Is An Art
When it comes time to actually delegate—especially in your first few times handing off responsibility—you will want to have a streamlined process for delegating tasks to others. Of course, not only will you want to make sure you are prepared to pass off the task, you will also want to be confident the person you are giving the responsibility to is capable and trained. In order to do this, The Muse notes that you may have to provide some training in the beginning, and that is okay. It will make things go more smoothly as time goes on. They say:
“Delegation doesn’t just mean handing off a task—make sure your team members have the resources they need to do the job. A good training rule of thumb is “I do, we do, you do” (i.e., watch me do this, then let’s do it together, now you try).”
Not only are you managing the expectations of your boss or the event’s guest of honor during the planning process, but you also have the expectations of attendees and invited guests weighing on your mind. Because of this, you need to make sure you develop your delegation skills as much as you develop the skills of those tasked with helping you to make sure they can get the job done. Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business Review explains that to do this, you need to act like less of a boss and more of a coach.
“The usual method of delegating is the sink-or-swim method. “Here’s the job. Let’s see if you can handle it.” Done this way, the odds are you will get a sinker. A better method is to be a coach. Coaches neither run onto the field to take over the job nor do they leave the players to their own devices. They offer expertise, new methods, continual training, support and pep talks.”
Once you refine your delegation skills and take over as a mentor or coach, there is a greater chance of success. Of course, someone may do the task differently than you would have, but is that always a bad thing? Sometimes, getting additional feedback or a new perspective can actually liven up an event or party in an unexpected—but good—way.
It will take some practice, but over time you will get better and better at delegating and letting go (of both tasks and fear). A great way to start is by delegating the task of finding a venue. With Spacesift, no matter how much of a time crunch you are on, you can give an employee or friend the task of narrowing down venues to stay within your budget and expected number of guests. Once they present you with a few options, you can use photos, video and in-person visits to make the final decision. Delegation really can be that easy.