At a certain point in any leader’s career, delegation will be inevitable. Moving up in position, experiences, and skills means many tasks will become so easy that you are wasting your time and expertise. If you want to tap into better productivity and save energy for higher-level responsibilities, it’s time to delegate.
How to Successfully Delegate
Delegation is not just a way to free yourself from tasks you are well-versed in. It is also an opportunity for another person to build their own skills.
What Tasks Should You Delegate?
Choosing what tasks you are better off clearing from your agenda requires several considerations. First, how high is a task on your priority list? Is the task easy enough for you that you could quickly train another to complete it? Speaking of, how much time do you have to spend in another’s training, progress, and ongoing support? Finally, does the task come up enough times that it is tedious at this point?
Picking the Right Person
Once you have the task(s) you want to delegate, it’s a simple process of matching it up with a team member’s skills, goals, experiences, and readiness. This part is important because you want delegating to be just as beneficial for the other person as it is for you.
Usually, the best person is someone with enough experience that you could trust to quickly pick up the task, but not enough practice in the specific skill set. That way, the task becomes a vehicle for growth: the perfect balance of expertise and challenge.
Moreover, consider the person’s own responsibilities. Make sure their work allows space, time, and resources to welcome the task. Finally, it’s always preferable that the task can offer
The Delegation Brief: How to Communicate
When handing over the task, it’s important to be clear from the beginning. Address the basics: What the task entails, why you chose this person to undertake it, how much time it requires, and how you expect ongoing communication to go. Hit all points of uncertainty: scheduling, how monitoring will work, what resources are available to them, and the level of involvement you will have with them.
Remember to maintain a balance between handing over the responsibility, nurturing independence, and your own authority.
Post-Delegation: Support and Continual Monitoring
After the learning curve, don’t be quick to assume the team member has it all covered. Continue to be a beacon of support, by reviewing their work immediately and being honest about the quality. Critical feedback is necessary for their own gain. At the same time, be forthcoming in praising effort and improvement.
Delegation may take some work at the beginning. However, done right, it leads to dividends for both leaders and team members in expanding their potentials.