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The 3 Fundamental Do’s of Successful Delegation
Have you been told by your manager that you should delegate more? Has anyone said to you that you micro-manage? Are you aware that you are rreluctant to entrust tasks to others in your team?
If you do not delegate as well as you could, what impact does that have? Grumbling employees? Long hours at the office, away from your family and friends? A sense of overwhelm?
Well, if you’ve been wondering about how to delegate better, if you've been trying to delegate more but find this challenging, this article is for you because, in a minute, I will share with you a simple but fundamental process of delegation. In addition to optimising your chances of receiving good quality work, this thorough process will alleviate the concerns of even the most sceptical would-be delegator.
Phase 1 - 'Why'
So let’s kick-off. Phase 1 of the process: the ‘why’ phase. This is not about why you need to delegate – let’s take it as given that you must delegate. So this ‘why’ is about why the work needs to get done. Without some purpose, why would this task even exist? How does this fit within the grand scheme of things in your organisation? The more you are able to show how the task you delegate aligns with the company’s strategy, the greater your delegatee’s motivation. You will tap into the enthusiasm and energy of your delegatee who will want to do a good job – even if the task is small – because that small task is an important (little!) cogwheel.
Phase 2- 'What'
It is important that you give the ‘why’ before you go on to Phase 2 and detail the ‘what’ to create a setting which engages your delegatee. When your delegatee has connected to the strategic element of the task, then it is time for the ‘what’ phase, where you detail their mission. I cannot emphasize more that it is best to delegate an outcome, rather than a task. To illustrate what I mean here, let me tell you the story of a janitor working for NASA in the 1960s who said that his role was ‘helping to put a man on the Moon’. Now, that’s what I call a sense of mission and I am sure this gentleman was both highly motivated and effective at his job. When articulating what needs to be done, remember the ‘KISS’ principle. No, it does not mean ‘ Keep It Simple Stupid’ or ‘Keep It Simple Sweetie’: ‘Keep It Short and Simple’. Don’t risk confusing with long-winded explanations or overwhelming with a heap of details.
Phase 3 - 'How'
Now for phase 3: the ‘how’ stage where you give instructions to your delegatee. Be mindful to pitch your instructions at the level appropriate for the experience of your delegatee. Furthermore, be sure to cover with your delegatee how you will support them: will you have an open-door policy which could be disruptive to you or will you hold regular 1:1’s? Those occasions when you check in on your delegatee will also enable you to keep the right amount of quality control before the end product is generated. It is also crucial that your delegatee feel able to share their challenges rather than be tempted to hide their problems. And finally: when is the task due by: a deadline acts as a powerful driver for many people.
That’s it! If you make use of this simple process, I expect you will be surprised by how powerful it is. It is empowering for you, in letting you set the scene and retain the right amount of control. Just as importantly, it is empowering to the delegatee who is neither abandoned nor kept on too tight a leash. This leads me nicely to my last comment today about the art of delegating: before you do anything of what I have just suggested, do give careful thought to whom that delegatee should be. Don’t pick the guy you like or the lady you trust. Select the person best able to deliver.
And so… What can YOU delegate? To whom? When?
And… What are you going to do with all the precious time you’ve regained in your life?
I hope thesequick tips will be helpful to you in developing further your delegating skills so you improve both your team and your time management, raising productivity as well as morale!
© Coaching For Inspiration, 2012