One of the key characteristics of effective leaders is that they know both how and when to delegate tasks to others. But unfortunately, too many leaders aren’t good at delegating. Read on to find out everything you need to know about delegating effectively.
The benefits of delegating
Three key benefits of delegating effectively are:
- It lightens your workload.
- When you delegate less important tasks to others, it frees you up to concentrate on more important tasks.
- It empowers your team members and can boost their motivation and development.
Barriers to delegation
Two major barriers to effective delegating are:
- The belief that ‘you can do the task better yourself’.
- The fear of ‘letting go’.
However, those barriers can be easily overcome by following some simple delegating tips.
Here are our top delegating tips.
Tip 1: Let go
Accept that you may not need to do everything yourself. If you don’t accept that, you run the risk of burning yourself out by trying to do too much.
Tip 2: Think longer term
Even if it’s true that you might initially be able to do a task that you want to delegate better yourself, think longer term. By allowing another person or team to do it, they will get better at it. Think of your delegation as an investment that will pay off in the future. Delegating ‘teachable’ tasks is another way of thinking about this concept.
Tip 3: Delegate your less important tasks
Rank all of the tasks you do from most important to least important. The least important tasks are the ones you should either delegate first (or not do at all).
Tip 4: Delegate appropriately
Make sure that the person (or team) is capable of handling the task you have delegated in terms of their skills, current workload and the resources that they have available.
Some of your team members are also likely to have stronger skills than you in certain areas. Tap into their strengths!
Tip 5: Explain why you are delegating the task
Put a positive spin on your reason. For example, instead of saying ‘to lighten my workload’, you could say ‘to develop your skills’.
Tip 6: Be clear about your expectations
Make sure that the person or team understands what task you need done, and when you need it done by. Make sure you delegate the authority and accountability to complete the task as well.
Tip 7: Resist the temptation to micromanage
Once you’ve delegated a task appropriately and explained your expectations, let the person or team get on with completing it. Resist the temptation to micromanage. Only provide guidance if necessary.
Tip 8: Provide feedback when the task is completed
Thanking and acknowledging the person or team for completing the task successfully is an important part of providing feedback.
On the flip side, if the task hasn’t been done as well as you would have liked, provide constructive feedback.
Delegating tasks effectively can help everyone in an organisation to thrive.
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