Tips to master the art of delegation

Trust your team so that you both can accomplish much more and help your organisation thrive.

Delegating, ie delegating well, is key to creating meaningful growth and successful workload management that helps your organisation grow and prosper. It helps empower the team while also creating more time for leaders to spend on larger goals and the big pictures. Here are some insights on how you can start letting go.

 Come to terms with your need for perfection
Often leaders can’t let go and feel they have to do everything themselves because they’re constantly aiming for perfection. They don’t believe others can meet the high standards they set and how they would personally do to the job. This increases their stress and creates a situation that’s ripe for disaster. So understand this struggle within yourself and push yourself to get comfortable with imperfection. Practice handing over tasks so that you free yourself to focus on bigger initiatives as should be the case given your position. You can touch base regularly to keep on top of things and provide guidance when necessary.

 Pick the right tasks to delegate
Start with everyday tasks that don’t require a lot of expertise and are easy to do. Find those repetitive tasks that take up a large chunk of your bandwidth but don’t necessary require only you to do them. Is there is a meeting a team member could benefit from attending? Could a deputy deliver the presentation instead of you? Make a list and then set about handing them off. Use this as an opportunity to help employees grow, learn new skill sets and take on new responsibilities. By handing over these tasks you’re giving them a chance to prove themselves and advance their career. So delegate the right to the right employees.

Give clear instructions
When handing over a task be absolutely clear about the goal and your expectations. Don’t assume the person knows the task at hand just from observation. Provide accurate instruction as well as formats, boundaries, schedules, etc as the need may be. This way you are giving the employee all the tools he/she needs to succeed. Misunderstandings often lead to delays and failure. So ensure you communicate clearly and provide a comprehensive brief when handing over a task or project.

Stop micromanaging
Once you’ve handed over a task/project and set a clear framework you need to get out of the way so that the employee can run with it and make it his/her own. You have to respect their ability to do the job and not hover over their shoulder. By micromanaging you’re undermining their confidence and defeating the entire purpose of delegation. Schedule weekly/monthly meetings to check in on progress. The idea is to agree on a strong technical framework to be followed, while giving them room for independent thought and creativity.

Accountability is key
When handing over a task/project/assignment you need to ensure your employees understand they are accountable for the task. It isn’t about just handing over the responsibility. A missed deadline or substandard result is every leader’s delegating nightmare. So keep an eye out of messages that are likely to slip through the cracks. Set up strong two-way communication so as to discuss the status, the milestones achieved, delivery timing, etc.

Photograph: Katemangostar – 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz


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