May 21, 2024

How to take a break from your business 8: Practise using the processes

Before you finally take that short break from your business, you, and your team, will want to reassure yourselves that the processes you’ve described for delegation will actually be used.

The only way to do that is to practise them beforehand.

If there isn’t time to fit in enough real-life usage before you go, or if people are hesitant about having a go, try a bit of role-playing instead.

First, for each process you’ve delegated, think about how it is likely to go in real life. What are the common scenarios involving this process?

Take answering a client question. The process might look like this:

1) A Client contacts you with a question. (Receive Question)

2) You can answer it immediately, so you just answer it. (Answer Question)

Alternatively, you can’t answer it immediately (say, within 5 minutes), so,

3) You let the client know that it will take you some time to find the answer, but that you will answer it. Then you give them an estimate of when that will be. (Defer Answer)

4) You find the Answer. (Find Answer) and can now do 2) (Answer Question)

Most people I’ve met are eager to help when asked, and find it very difficult to take the Defer Question path of this process, until they realise that by answering non-urgent and involved questions, they may be letting down other clients whose work is urgent but uneventful. So, practising both paths through this process is really helpful.

Note down some likely scenarios for this process that cover both paths e.g:

“When will my parcel arrive?”

“How much does delivery cost?”

“My parcel’s been delivered, but to the wrong address.”

Get your team together. Make some of them pretend Clients, and give each a scenario to play. Then have the other team members take it in turns to run the Answer Client Question process, prompted by a pretend Client calling with their given scenario. Shuffle the scenarios and the people, and go again until everyone’s had a chance to practise.

This is a really quick and effective way to practise any process. After each run, you can ask people to reflect on how it went, how they felt about it and what they would do differently next time. It takes a surprisingly small number of goes to feel comfortable with it.

So that by the time it happens in real life, people will be able to just get on with it.

Without you.

Discipline makes Daring possible.