Today, I’m going to share with you a really simple tool that will help you to master delegation forever.
So I was speaking to a client of ours recently, and he came to me and said, “Rudi, when it comes to delegation, I’m just rubbish. How do I fix this?”
So let’s go to my screen, and I want to show you this very, very simple tool,that’s very powerful.
Okay, so, let me show you on a blank sheet of paper. So this tool is called a “Who, What, When Triangle”.
So we can draw this triangle here, add a ‘Who’, a ‘What’, and a ‘When’.
So remember, ‘Who’ is at top, ‘What’ on the left, and ‘When’ on the right.
Okay, so basically, whenever you delegate anything from now on going forwards, it’s your job to ensure that you use this triangle for every request.
So how does this work?
Let me give you some examples just to illustrate.
Let’s say for example, I have a person who works for me in my Debtors department. This person comes to me and they say, they’ve spoken to the lady at the client’s company, and that lady said that they would send us some money.
In that example, how many corners can we tick? Do we have a ‘Who’? Do we have a ‘What’? Do we have a ‘When’?
So, she’s spoke to a lady, so we don’t have a name. The lady said that they would send us money, so yeah, these are ‘What’ – they’ll send us money, so that’s a ‘What’. There was no ‘When’.
Okay, let’s go to a second scenario. Lady works for me says she spoke to Mary in the clients company. Mary said she would send us a cheque at some point very soon.
So in that case, do we have a ‘Who’? Yes, we do, it’s Mary – there’s a name. The ‘What’ is that they’re going to send us a cheque – fair enough. We didn’t have a ‘When’.
Okay, let’s go to scenario number 3. My debtors clerk comes to me and says she spoke to Mary the clients company. Mary said she will send us a cheque, and we can expect that cheque on the desk by next Wednesday morning.
So in this case, do we have 3 ticks? Yes, we do. We’ve got a Mary – so there’s the ‘Who’. There’s a ‘What’, and we also have a ‘When’ – which is next Wednesday morning. Fantastic! So, for the first time, we actually have a triangle, well done.
So let’s take this a little bit further. Now we’ve just opened one triangle. Mary said she’ll send us a cheque that will be with us Wednesday morning. Now, Wednesday afternoon comes along, and there is no cheque. Either there is a cheque, we bank it, or there is no cheque, what do we do?
Straight away, not 3 weeks later, this is the real key here – the immediacy. Straight away we get on the phone, and say “Mary, remember you spoke to us last week and you said that you’ll send us a cheque, and you said it will be here by Wednesday morning? It’s Wednesday late afternoon and it has not arrived yet. What’s the next step?”
So what we’re doing now is we’re creating a new triangle with Mary. So we close the old one up, and we create a new one. So we say, “Hey Mary.” And Mary says, “Hey I’m really sorry, I’ll get this cheque to you I promise by next Tuesday morning.” And I say, “Okay, fantastic Mary.”
We’ve got a ‘Who’ – which is Mary; we’ve got a ‘What’, which is the cheque, and a ‘When’ which is next Tuesday morning. Excellent!
Next Tuesday afternoon, one of the 2 things will happen. Either there’s a cheque – and we bank it, or we don’t have the cheque. And late Tuesday afternoon, or first thing Wednesday morning, so again straightaway, not 3 weeks later, we’re on the phone to Mary again and would say, “Hey Mary, what’s up?” and Mary’s going to say “Oh I’m so so sorry.”
Now it’s an interesting thing that in the society we live in with the Western culture here in the UK, it’s very rare that people will go beyond the third triangle. Because essentially every time they’ve made a promise, and we’ve called them on their promise. It’s very rare that they’ll go beyond the 3rd triangle. And if they do, then that should be an alarm bell for you, and then you need to take another action.
So debtors clerk Mary was the example there. But you can use this in any delegation. And if you have a think about which of these 3 corners do you think we normally miss off or make errors the most on. It’s normally on the ‘When’ bit – it’s a big problem when we don’t pin people down to a specific time.
The other error that we make often is there’s not one responsible who – it’s ‘them’ or ‘they’, ‘both of them’. No, not ever. You always want to pick one final responsible person. So if there are 2 equals that you’ve given a job to, pick one of them, and say, “I know you’re both equal, however number 1 – you’re responsible.” So there’s always one person who is responsible.
So if the example is John:
“John, you agreed to get these order files to me, by when do you think you’re going to get it to me?”
“2 weeks’ time?”
“Actually I need them a bit sooner”
“Ok, how about next Monday?”
“Fantastic! Monday what time?”
“Brilliant! Thank you very much.”
And then on Monday, at 10:10am or as soon as I can, if John has broken a promise, I’ll go back to him, give him a bit of a silent stare, and say:
“Hey John. Remember that promise, or that agreement we made, can you recall what it was? Remind me please.”
And John’s going to go; “Uhm… oh…ahhh”
And you say “It was about the order files you’ll get to me by 10 o’clock today? It’s now quarter past 10, what’s happening?”
So essentially we’re calling John on his promise. And when you start doing this, persistently, your team will shift in a matter of weeks. And you won’t have any problem with delegation ever again.
But, it’s up to you to remember:
2. What, and definitely a
If you choose to forget these 3 corners, then delegation won’t work for you. And then you should stop complaining. Because this is a very very powerful tool. Use it, it just works.
So in summary:
1.Ensure you’ve got a “Who, What, When Triangle” with every person around you, when you asked them to do something for you, when you give them a command, or a request, and if there are any open “Who, What, When” triangles, go back to these people, and ensure that you’ve got a full triangle.
2.Then follow-up with you people, hold them accountable, and remember, they’ve broken a promise to you. Which is okay, create a new promise, and hold them accountable to that.
3.Also remember to record this, whether you do it in a book, or electronically, whatever works for you. Make sure that you keep track of the “Who, What, When” triangles, the promises. So you can hold your people accountable.
So here’s a question for you. If you were consistently using the ‘Who, What, When’ triangle in your life, what would that do for you, for your practice, and for your team?
Remember, your practice is your business. So build yourself an amazing business that serves you, your lifestyle, and your family.
Have yourself a great day, and bye for now.