Delegation is an essential skill for any manager. However, it can also be a very tricky skill to get right. Done properly, it can provide you with an effective method to help manage resources in your team.
There are many reasons why people find delegating difficult, here are a few examples:
- they may feel a sense of losing control
- they may feel that it would be quicker to do it themselves than take the time to talk someone else through it
- they may not have enough trust in the people they delegate to, to do the job to their standard
- they may feel threatened that someone else may do it better
Whilst these may be feelings we’ve all had at one time or another, delegating properly can also be very empowering, not just for you but also for the people you delegate to.
People who tend to avoid delegating can often find that they have too much work and are overwhelmed by their workload. By delegating, this can provide you with the valuable time you need to get on top of your priorities.
Delegating can also provide opportunities for your team to develop their skills, build trust and for them to get involved in different types of work.
So, what does good delegation look like?
Firstly, you need to be very clear about what you are delegating. Make sure you have identified what the piece of work is and what specific tasks you wish to delegate. This may be a full project or just elements of it.
If you are only delegating a few tasks which form part of a bigger project/piece of work, you must make sure to provide full context/background to the individual being delegated to. This will help with their learning and their understanding of how their specific tasks fit into the bigger project or piece of work.
You then need to consider who to delegate to. Depending on your team, this may be obvious but consider what the task is and ensure that the individual is capable of completing the work. You may also want to consider who would be motivated to do the work and have the right level of experience.
By choosing someone with the right level of experience and skills, this will reduce the time you have to invest in supporting them. However, if there isn’t a tight timescale, it is worth considering who may benefit from developing their skills by taking on the task(s).
Once you have chosen the right person for the job, make sure you arrange a specific meeting to talk through what the work is, what the desired outcomes are and provide full details about what you require them to do.
Finally, make sure that you provide a deadline. This gives the individual all of the information they need to do the task and a clear expectation of the timeframes involved.
If it is a longer project or piece of work, ensure you schedule ‘check-in’ meetings throughout the duration of the work. This is to ensure the individual(s) know they can ask questions and what support is available to them.
Now you can concentrate on your own work and enjoy getting some time back to focus on your priorities.
If you are interested in discussing Delegation Skills training, please contact us using the contact sheet on the website or email directly on firstname.lastname@example.org