We’re all always trying to do the most, right? Does that sound a little bit familiar? We’ve socially constructed this immeasurable need to always be doing something, to be doing it at 110% and that “if you want something done the right way, then you have to just do it yourself”. Let’s challenge that a little bit, shall we?
Delegation is one of the most underrated tools we have. Delegation can allow for you to work ON whatever it is you’re doing rather than being IN the trenches with it. By asking if a task could be completed by someone other than you, you’re allowing yourself to have the opportunity to do more of what matters to you and reap larger results in the end. Delegation is an art form and we know it’s definitely difficult to start.
Involve your delegates.
Delegating is wrongfully thought of as “passing off work”. Rather, let’s focus on being intentional with our delegating. It’s time to learn how to include your direct reports in what you are delegating to allow for a full understanding of expectations along with an agreement towards the task. Plus, this will help them feel more of a buy in for the tasks at hand.
Focus on being specific, clear, and complete in terms of timelines, goals, resources, performance and results. Don’t be that person who leaves someone with a big question mark over their head like they in a game of Sims.
Don’t fall completely off the map, but don’t hover either. Trust that you have done your job in supporting the person you are delegating a task, too. If you are unable to do either one, it is time to re-evaluate.
Grant specific authorities to the people you are delegating. Make sure they have the access to the resources they need to get the job done – both physically and culturally.
Remember, that while you did delegate a task (yay you!), that you are still ultimately responsible for the end result. Your delegatee is responsible for reporting to you and doing a job well done; however, you are still the one holding the responsibility.
Be consistent in delegating tasks – don’t wait until you are slammed and totally overwhelmed. Be consistent in helping your delegates to grow, learn how to efficiently improve for the next task, and acknowledging their successes (as well as some of their failures).