If delegation is so valuable and important in the realm of leadership and time management, why do people have so much trouble doing this? Here are a few of the reasons.
- “I’ll just do it myself. I’m faster.”
- “I can do this better than anyone else.”
- “It’s just easier to do this myself. It’ll take too long to teach someone else to do it.”
Here are some key elements to make delegation a possibility for you:
- Delegate unless you are truly the only one who can do something.
- Contemplate the positives and negatives if something isn’t done exactly the way you would do it. What would be the downside? Would there be any measurable problem?
- Give up control when you are confident that someone else is ready and able to accomplish the task.
- Share in the credit for work well done. Even though you have been the teacher and the one who has chosen to delegate, remember to provide positive reinforcement for those who have taken on the task.
- Let go!
As you are prioritizing and delegating, remember these essential graces:
- Be sensitive to a person’s existing workload. If you add something to their plate, try to work with them to take something off their plate. Perhaps you can delegate some of their activities. Gain cooperation here. Don’t take away their favorite activity!
- Match your expectations of performance to the person’s abilities and desires.
- Provide clear expectations and directions.
- Expect a person to work on their own to learn and to gain expertise (along with your teaching and support).
- Be sure to have them “batch” their questions and to not interrupt you throughout the day.
- Assign acceptable due dates for completion of certain tasks or the mastering of certain skills. Build one thing upon another.
- Monitor progress but don’t micro-manage or “hover.” Be sure to follow up and follow through.
- Give constructive feedback. Acknowledge the things that are going well and alter things that are not going well (and do so quickly). Don’t let bad habits become the norm.
- Say “thanks.”
Delegation helps you honor the 3 R’s: required, return, reward. Freedom and productivity are the positive end results. Make it happen!