Yes, there really is an art to delegating.
The very definition of delegating is “assigning the responsibility or authority to another person to carry out specific duties.” It is one of the core concepts of management leadership. However, just the thought of delegating is stressful, and most people struggle with the idea of giving up control on a project. Just as in other aspects of business, there is a process and procedure you should use to help you delegate effectively.
Delegating is an opportunity to remove a project or task from your plate so that you can focus on other more pertinent tasks and improve your management skills. By assigning the task or project to another colleague, you are essentially giving them an opportunity to grow and further develop new skills, which helps build an engaged, efficient team.
Assessing Your Team
When considering projects/assignments to delegate, first you should consider your team. It is important to select a team member who has appropriate strengths and skills as well as capacity to handle the assignment. Other things to consider: Is this a one-time project or will it be a recurring task? Does this team member have the time to dedicate to the task?
Assign and Empower
Once you have identified the team member, be sure to set up a kick-off meeting to discuss the project. Provide all background, discuss the roles and responsibilities and set expectations. Be sure to communicate the objectives, goals, budget and deadlines. Setting up a regular time to meet to check in on your team member’s progress is also a great way to stay in the loop and provide feedback without micromanaging.
Do’s & Don’ts of Delegating:
- Share key priorities so your team knows what’s most important
- Clarify expectations by communicating essential information about the project
- Provide complete instructions
- Give your team members the support they need to leverage YOU better
- Be patient. Let others learn and grow
- Be clear about your team’s level of authority
- Check on progress
- Show recognition
- Expect people to read your mind
- Give “drive-by” delegations
- Underestimate the time it takes to do things
- Underestimate your team’s capabilities
- Get discouraged if your team asks you for advice
- Look for perfection
A final piece of advice: “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” – George S. Patton
Do you have a proven method of delegating? Join us in the discussion and tweet us @DEVENEYMKTG