Clever Carly: The Art of Delegation

You might want to do it all, but sometimes that’s not possible

Hello, my fabulously busy planners!

With another week of planning coming to an end, it’s time to get ready for next week’s never-ending to-do list. Looking at my schedule, I can already tell it’s going to be a hectic week, and I’m guessing you’re in a similar situation: Not only is there a lot to get through, but also your responsibilities are complex—meaning that it might take more time, thought and energy than you are capable of expending to complete your to-do list. Now, I’m not saying you’re incapable (I would never!), I’m just saying that it’s not always possible to tackle your responsibilities alone. 

Here’s a little secret that not many in the planning industry admit to: As hard as we try, we can’t do everything—which means delegation is essential. 

Sure, you might enjoy and want to do everything on your to-do list, but that’s not always realistic. And though giving up control on some projects can be a hard muscle to flex, delegation is a skill that you should hone. Here’s why:

It Will Help You Create a Team You Trust

It takes a lot of people to pull off a great event, and every team member wants to play a role in a meeting’s success. Giving your team members opportunities to contribute not only allows them to share in your success instead of letting you take all the credit, it also means they’ll have a chance to learn. They’ll feel valued and motivated, and, as they get more experience, your trust in them will grow—which in turn builds their trust in you, leading to a healthier, happier team. So, when it comes time to delegate tasks in the future, you’ll know that they can get the job done—and get it done right. 

Just remember that your team members are not you. They might tackle tasks differently, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have your meeting’s purpose at heart. Be open-minded, give them the space and freedom to work and offer feedback when necessary. 

You’ll Be Less Stressed

In general, work can be stressful—61 percent of Americans say so—and taking on more than your fair share of work can be bad for your health. (A higher risk of coronary disease? No, thank you.) It’s also likely that if you’re feeling overwhelmed, your team is, too. 

Yes, yoga and meditation can help manage stress—but why not remove some of your stressors completely? Have an open conversation with your team about what needs to get done, and then delegate accordingly. When they help take responsibilities off your plate, you’ll have a more manageable workload, which will free up some of your time and restore your energy and sanity.

It Will Make You a Better Leader

Many leaders want to lead and be involved in every aspect of every project, and more often than not, the result is that team members feel undervalued and uninspired by their managers. As a leader, one of the most important things you can do is teach the people around you how to think and act in your absence—and you do that by delegating. When you delegate tasks that don’t require your attention, you learn to work, manage and communicate with other people more effectively, and, going back to my earlier point, it will make them better team members, too.

Your Events Will Improve

Let’s confront your denial head-on: No meeting is perfect. Like anything, there is always room for improvement. But it can be hard to take your planning skills to the next level when you are drowning in responsibility or are too close to the project. Delegating tasks gives you the opportunity to take a step back from your event and consider the meeting from another vantage point. You’re less likely to get consumed and stuck on one item on your to-do list; instead, you’ll keep the event moving.

Delegating some of your responsibilities also means you’ll have more time to interact with vendors, sponsors and attendees. This will help you cultivate stronger relationships with each one of them, so, come next event, you know exactly which vendors and sponsors are most suited for particular meeting styles and what guests are looking for.

Many planners are perfectionists, so it’s no wonder that they might not be apt to share some of the event planning responsibilities. Delegation certainly isn’t easy, but it is a skill that can help bring your event, and your career, to the next level. After all, if I didn’t delegate, I wouldn’t have time to write this, would I?

Until next time,
Clever Carly