I use to think that I was helping my team by not delegating. I didn’t want them to be as overwhelmed as I was. Then I learned the benefits of delegating and realized that I could no longer deprive my team of the opportunity to grow and learn as I did.
Think about it this way. Delegating allows you to develop others. In turn you will have time to focus on assignments that allow you to develop your skills and grow as a leader. It’s a win-win.
Here are a couple of simple steps you can use to begin delegating immediately.
Let’s begin with the Assessment
- Assess your workload – If you are completely honest with yourself, what tasks are you performing that do not require your level of skills? We all do things that could be done by someone else on our team (unless you are a team of one). For instance, you may need to complete your budget, there may be someone that can run the reports and provide you with last year’s numbers and expenditures as well as estimates for the coming year? You’ll probably find that you use some type of formula when calculating specific information that can be shared with someone else to complete portions of this task.
- Assess your team- Who on your team currently has the skill set to fulfill the identified tasks? If no one on your team currently has the skills, who can be developed? Who has expressed a desire to take on additional responsibility OR has shown that they are responsible and ready? By not challenging your team, you may find that you no longer have a team. People may leave or begin to function at a lower level when not being challenged or motivated.
Let the delegating begin!
If you are not used to delegating, you’ll want to set some guidelines for yourself.
- What does successful completion of the tasks look like – Provide clear instructions that include the specifics of the tasks, expected outcomes, deliverables and dates.
- Be available – allow time in your schedule for follow-up questions to be answered; don’t leave your team hanging.
- Follow-up – be sure to check-in to see how they are doing. Some members of your team may be hesitant to ask questions.
- Pad your deadline – allow additional time before the deadline, to review the completed tasks, provide feedback and give your team an opportunity to correct mistakes. Remember, this task may have been second nature to you but may be new to them.
- Let them fly – once you are comfortable with your team completing the tasks, you can back off– NOT disappear. Still allow them the option of being able to ask questions without being a crutch.
Delegation is a form of development and motivation. Members of your team want to feel valued. This a great way to show that you trust and value them and their skills. Now that you have taken some of the tasks off your plate, you can begin to focus on the projects that require your attention and begin to develop yourself. You’ll also be able to take on additional, high level responsibilities from your boss and others within the organization.
Invest in your team while investing in yourself!