One of the most critical leadership skills is effective delegating. As a leader, you have goals to meet, new initiatives to pursue, and relationships to develop. You cannot do all of these things alone. The only way to make them all happen is to delegate effectively. Let’s face it - if you could do it all, you wouldn’t have a team.
Leaders who can’t delegate effectively risk being so mired in the day to day that they never have the bandwidth to work on initiatives that will make them stand out from the crowd. Effective delegation will not only give you time to work on things that will make you shine, but will develop the skills of your team. Here are six points to consider.
- Delegate the right things - You should delegate things that you think are important, but that you feel that you can personally let go of. You don’t want to delegate anything that you don’t believe that you can monitor someone else doing without micromanaging. You also don't want people thinking that when you delegate, you are just removing trash from your "to do" list. Things you delegate should be definable and have clear objectives so that you and the delegates know if they have been successful or not.
- Choose the right people - Delegate to people that you know are up to the job. When you delegate to someone, you should feel comfortable that their skills and abilities match the assignment.
- Be specific about your expectations - When you delegate, the objective(s), constraints associated with the assignment, and deadlines need to be clearly communicated. Instructions may be conveyed, but you want to allow room for the recipient to make the assignment their own. You and the person that you are asking to be responsible for the project or task should also reach agreement as to how you will monitor their activity (what information you need to be comfortable with progress and how often you need it). Yes, this all requires discussions.
- Give them the authority and tools to do the job - If others need to be told that you have delegated an assignment so that the delegated person can get it done, make sure to cover this step. Also if software or other resources are required to do the job, make sure that they are provided.
- Monitor performance per your agreement - Make sure that you follow up as you agreed. More frequent inquiries on your part will convey a lack of trust, and less frequent interactions will send the message that you delegated inconsequential work. Either way, follow up and constructive feedback is an important part of staff development.
- Don’t forget thank you’s for a job well done - Make sure that you properly acknowledge delegate work that has been successfully completed. It is a good practice to do a thorough evaluation of the delegation process with the person that you delegated to so that you both can learn to improve the process the next time around.
Delegating is not something that comes naturally to most of us. It requires ceding control and trusting others. It is something that all leaders should be doing to develop the team. Just remember that a CEO has to trust others to make a company work!
QUESTION:What advice can you share about delegating effectively?
Leadership/Career Coach Kris Ishibashi is a certified Hogan provider. She works with leaders to bring together their skills, their authentic selves, and their intentions to inspire their organizations to superior performance. Click here to set up a complimentary consultation.