What to delegate? When? and how?
Delegation is one of the most discussed topics in management today as it has always been. Whether you are delegating or not, you will find your manager suggesting that you delegate more, or delegate effectively.
Or you might be saying to yourself every time I delegate we face a problem at work and I will be the one to blame.
Or you might be saying by the time I explain to them what to do I would have done the task myself faster.
All these thoughts are really eligible, nonetheless this is just part of a puzzle.
What to delegate? When? and how?.
Delegation is an art between delegating and abdicating and there are no straight forward way of doing it right as it is dependent on the work nature, team blend, work load, etc.
In the following section I will be sharing some tips that can assist you on delegating effectively.
1- Surely delegation needs time
Surely, you will be spending more time on delegation than if you just do it yourself way. So when you start you need to make a conscious decision about delegation, knowing that on the long run this extra time teaching and explaining will be shorter and shorter plus the time you are spending now on the task will be eliminated. Which means you are setting the foundation to gain the time you need to focus on some of the leadership tasks and strategies you have been putting aside for some time. Just Be Patient.
2- Do not fall into the Trap of delegating the easiest or I don’t like doing Tasks
This will ruin the relationship with your direct reports on the long run. People need to be challenged and need to grow as much as you do. That’s beside a very important fact which is: you need your team to be able to carry their weight on the long run when your schedule gets busier.
3- Evaluate Your Team Expertise level and Attitude
It is crucial to evaluate your team and understand where they are in terms of the expertise level and the skills they acquired or already have, in addition to their attitude: meaning are they ready to take more responsibilities? how do they feel about themselves and the tasks they have in hand? how do they feel about the department and the organization?. Simply you are assessing the readiness of your team for delegation.
4- Be specific in the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the process
We almost always assume that the delegate knows what he/she needs to do about the new task, or knows at least; what is the criteria of success we have in mind. No,
Wish that was true. We all are different and we don’t think alike. You have to spend some time with the delegate at the beginning to explain the task concisely and specifically. Dedicate time in the middle to have feedback and to follow up if there are any challenges or inquiries from your delegate. Eventually keep following up and ask: what went wrong and what went right? if the delegate needs any help? and how you can provide it?.
5- No to Blaming
The easiest way to ruining everything you have done is to blame at signs of a mistake or unexpected results of the delegated task. Sure this happens to all of us especially at times of craziness at work, when overwhelm gets to us. Just take a deep breath and don’t push blame on the delegate shoulder and try to ask instead effective question: how we can solve this problem together? After the dust settles ask questions to clearly understand what happened. Then you both will be able to adjust and excel.
6- Yes to rewarding
In Delegation or in any other skill you are trying to build a ritual around, rewarding is the magic formula. So plan how you are going to reward your direct reports. It does not have to be something fancy it might be as simple as praising publicly or privately.
Written By Lina Ayesh
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