The Delegation Conversation

This makes me mad…I received this email from an admin who was working part time for an agent:

“I am no longer an admin for her. She didn’t really know how to delegate things.”


Look, if you are a new admin, or you just haven’t figured out how to get your agent to release more work to you, let me give you some advice.

EVERYTHING we do in life is trainable. So even though your agent thinks her clients need to be able to call and talk to her whenever they have questions, we all know that is absurd.

I don’t get to talk to Bill Gates whenever I can’t figure out something on my PC.

The simplest answer to this is YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM HER.

If you saw your child playing with matches, you would take them away from her. If she was really into those matches and having a good time watching them burn, she’s going to pitch a fit. And you, as the wise and loving parent, are going to let your child scream for a bit. When she calms down you’re going to gently explain why playing with matches is dangerous and then you are going to love on her.

When your agent is taking calls from clients who are under contract instead of directing them to you, you have take that away from her. Look her in the eye and ask her why she didn’t just let that call go to voicemail and then notify you to return the call.

When she complains about how it’s just easier to deal with the call, or that she didn’t realize what she was doing, that it was just out of habit that she answered the phone, then let her go on about it. In fact, you need to encourage her to get it all out. What are ALL the reasons why she didn’t pass it off to you?

When that’s all out of her system, you explain to her why talking to her own clients is dangerous. That it circumvents the process. That it actually provides poor customer service to her clients because at this stage of the game, YOU have more information about the file than she does.

And then you are going to love on her. Tell her how much you appreciate her and this job. Tell her how much you enjoy talking to her clients and that every time you talk to them you are sure to say, “Sally asked me to call you,” or “What other questions do you have for me or Sally?”

The next time you catch her answering the phone for clients under contract, you repeat the process. Because we humans need to hear things repeatedly before they sink in.

You think this is nagging, but it’s not. It’s what leaders do. Leaders develop a process and then hold others accountable to the process in a way that makes the business better and the clients happier.

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