Delegating sounds easy, right?
One just needs to specify the desired outcome for the people who will deliver it.
However, it is everything but easy.
For doing it right, there are 3 thing you need to do first:
- establish who has control over a specific area of work
- identify limits
- provide support
And that’s not all. When you define these three, you must keep up to with the progress while focusing more on results and not micromanaging procedures. Finally, when the work is done, you need to give recognition where it’s deserved. After all, proper delegation is a clear sign that you respect and know well the members of your team.
Delegating can be a very, very shaky ground when you don’t establish rules and methods. The overall result must include meaningfully involved co-workers in a way that will give them a great chance to evolve – by being able to participate they should gain knowledge and develop further their skills and abilities. That is the only proper way of doing it.
When the next similar project comes along, you will be able to confidently delegate tasks that it will be executed with success, even with much less involvement from you.
WHY IS DELEGATING IMPORTANT?
Where to start?
Maybe from the basic idea that you, as a leader, really shouldn’t be doing everything by yourself. Forget about the attitude that it will take less time to actually do it then to delegate, explain and monitor someone else. Forget about that one where you “just know” that the only solution for a task to be properly done is to be done by you and you only. It won’t take you anywhere.
Sharing is caring. Even in this case.
Delegating empowers your team, builds trust, and assists with professional development. And if you are a leader, delegating is a perfect opportunity to identify who from your team is best suited to confront successfully tasks and projects.
So, where to actually start?
There are three crucial actions included in the act of delegating:
- Making decisions – You need to decide which tasks are your priority and actually need you to set aside for them and which can be easily sent of to someone else. This isn’t just about saving yourself some time. Every team member has their own strengths and areas in which they excel. That’s why personal vanity should never hold us back from allowing the best person to be assigned to a certain job. In the end, it’s all about team effort and team result.
- Giving authority to someone else – Don’t be afraid to do so. It won’t ruin your reputation or make you seem any less capable. Try it sometimes.
- Turning over authority – You will get there, no worries. It just takes a little time, experience and self-confidence.
WHEN DELEGATING IS APPROPRIATE?
Career and business strategist Jenny Blake created a set of rules to be used together with conducting an audit of your tasks. This is the easiest way to find out which of your tasks should be delegated:
- Tiny – Those small things that take a lot of work, while adding up over time. For those, address your assistant – scheduling meetings, booking flights for business trips, or deleting spam/marketing emails from your inbox.
- Tedious – These are the mindless tasks, as Blake states. They require a minimum skill, so you can delegate it to almost anybody.
- Time-consuming – Break those into a few smaller ones and feel free to delegate to different team members.
- Teachable – These are perfect for those team members that are lacking experience.
- Terrible at – Don’t know how something is done or you are really terrible at it? Like design or writing? Delegate!
- Time-sensitive: If you are running low on time, don’t overthink and find ways to delegate parts of the task to other members of your team.
And another thing, there will be a time when you will have to delegate some of the tasks that you really love doing but are no longer part of your job. Don’t cling on it.
Delegating – Getting results through other team members
Leaders who master the art of delegation achieve greater results for the organization, they better maximize their time, all while developing more skilled employees. This way, a leader is unburdened by the logistic of getting all tasks done, and he can focus on business strategy, planning, and guiding overall business execution while transferring knowledge and skills throughout the organization.
To get there, try following Sir John Whitmore’s GROW framework:
- Goal: Establish the goal by asking your employees to describe the final goal. Once you are on the same track when it comes to that, proceed with work.
- Reality: Examine the current reality by asking your team members these questions:
- Where are we now in relation to the goal?
- What’s working and what isn’t working?
- Is anything stopping you from making progress?
- Options: Explore the options by examining different options that could address the problem. Follow these:
- What are your options?
- What else could you do?
- Who do you know who has encountered a similar situation?
And then – just brainstorm, knock yourself out.
- Will: Establish the will for commitment from your employees, use these questions:
- What do you think you need to do right now?
- How will you know when you have done it?
- What resources can help you?
Delegation and development go hand in hand. If you mange your team in a way that gives them the best chance to succeed, the results will soon follow.