Delegating and Achieving More
Good delegation can get great results for you and your team you work with and can create extra time for you to concentrate on other tasks. So if it’s such a worthwhile skill, why can’t we all master the ‘art’?
Resisting the Opportunity to Delegate?
Let’s start by taking a look at why the delegation tool may not be used effectively in our day-to-day lives:
- May appear to be quicker to do it yourself
- Other people may not be able to do it as well as you
- Other people may do it better than you, and your ability may be questioned
- You might get the blame for mistakes made by others
- You don’t want to appear that you can’t cope with your workloads
- You may not want to share credit for good results
- You simply don’t have the time to train others
- Other people already appear to be busy and under pressure
Key Steps to Effective Delegation
Once you have accepted to ‘let go’ and that others probably won’t do the task as well as you or will do it differently, start practising to make it more effective for you and your team. However, take into account that at the outset the task will take longer for that person as they may not have your experience but be patient: they’ll soon become competent and contribute to the bigger picture by following these steps:
Step 1 – Define the tasks and identify action points
Consider the size, urgency, uniqueness and importance of the work. All of these considerations will help you choose what to delegate and also help you assess who is the best person for the task. Consider what authority they should have and when they should revert any decisions back to you.
Step 2 – Select the individual to receive the task
Delegating the correct work to the correct person takes thought and consideration. If you get this wrong, you may spend too much time providing support and fielding queries. When you are happy with this decision, explain what the task is, why it needs doing and why you have chosen them to do it.
Be careful that you don’t always choose the same person as this may overload them, resulting in incomplete work and deadlines being missed. Consider at this point whether a team is required to take on the amount of work involved.
Step 3 – Evaluate each action point of the task and review the following at the outset:
- Are they happy to accept the task?
- Explain how the result will contribute
- Are there any potential areas of concern?
- Is any training required?
- Are the terms of responsibility and authority clear?
Step 4 – Monitor progress of the task at agreed times
Set out clearly from the outset when you need progress reports, how they should be submitted and agree how monitoring will occur.
Step 5 – On completion of the task
Make sure you take the time to give honest and constructive feedback. Give praise where appropriate to develop their self-confidence and give guidance on areas that could be improved. If you don’t tell them, how will they know for next time?
Summary for Delegating and Achieving More
There is no short cut to delegating effectively it just comes down to practise, which is the key to mastering any skill. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll soon see the benefits with more time to achieve other areas of your role and have a cooperative and eager team around you.
Start by applying the five steps to the three tasks above and good luck!