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Mastering the Art of Delegation

October 12, 2009 By: Ruthanne Terrero Travel Agent


Ruthanne Terrero
Vice President—Content/Editorial Director, Ruthanne Terrero


Are there things you have to do for your job that you simply hate? It might be that they don’t draw on the skills that come most naturally to you. See if you can delegate them to someone else. Perhaps, for example, the thought of creating a filing system for the office makes you cringe but you know the business desperately needs it. Look around you. Do you have colleagues who are super-organized?

Search for clues. These are the folks who have hair accessories that go with certain outfits. Their socks often match the color of their shirts.

They’ve already planned what they’re serving for Thanksgiving dinner and their kids are kept to strict after-school play dates week after week.

When they discuss any of these things with you, they have smug little smiles on their faces because putting the world in order brings them great joy. You could bring them more joy by asking them to assist with creating a filing system for the office. Just a thought.

Take the delegation concept a bit further. Maybe you’re not the most social person you know. You’re not into banter and you don’t tend to start up conversations randomly with everyone you come across in life. This same personality trait may be the reason you still haven’t created a Facebook and Twitter account for your office. There’s nothing wrong with delegating that task either. Who in the office is the most social?

These are the people who become best friends with all of your vendors, even those who provide printing paper for your copier machines. The guy who delivers mail to the office knows what they did last weekend and what their children’s names are. Let them figure out this social networking thing for you, but be sure they’re building on the image you’ve already set for your travel agency. Your branding is important.

Perhaps the most social person in your office isn’t the ideal person to work on this task because they’re not in love with the idea of spending more time on the computer. This staff member is still incredibly valuable to you, as they are the ones who can go out into the community and network for you. They will likely be able to engage strangers in the topic of travel and then seamlessly work in halfway through the conversation that they are actually a travel agent who can help them with their next trip.
Team them up with that most organized person in the office to plan consumer evenings or travel fairs. They can also help you find partners in the neighborhood to participate in these events, such as the owner of the wine store down the block or the shop that sells luggage.

While we’re looking at everyone’s skills in the office, do you have staff members who are extremely good at closing a sale? They’re able to create a sense of urgency in the client without being too pushy. Maybe you should team them up with those agents who don’t excel at the close, but who specialize in crafting the perfect itinerary once the trip purchase has been confirmed.

So don’t feel guilty when you find yourself wondering if you could possibly have someone else do some of the work you hate. You might just be helping out your business by putting basic tasks into the hands of the people who can execute them best.

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