Can you imagine delegating all of your work, and what would that mean for you? Believe it or not, you’d still be busy, but you’d be spending time on activities much more valuable to your company and career.
Here are five tips to keep in mind as you consider delegating for your own success and the success of your team:
- Figure out what to delegate. Delegate as much as you can, focusing your own work on your highest value activities. When you delegate projects to your team, you’re doing two things: 1) taking things off your plate to make room for more critical tasks or projects, and 2) empowering your subordinate or colleague to take on more, to grow and develop, and to show them you have faith in their abilities.
- Choose the right people. Before you delegate a project, make sure you assign it to the most qualified person or persons. You might consider assigning it to a team of two – teaming a person for whom the assignment will be a development opportunity with a team member who is highly qualified.
- Communicate expectations clearly. The keys to successful delegation are clarity and accountability. If your expectations are clear, there will be no room for misunderstanding and everyone wins. This includes the scope of work, the budget, the timeline, and the procedure and timing for getting updates.
- Don’t micromanage. If you’ve properly delegated a task – meaning you’ve given it to the right person with the right skills, and communicated your expectations and gotten their buy-in – let go. If you take back a task you have delegated, you undermine the process, create more work, and send your team member a message that you don’t have faith in his or her abilities.
Once you learn the skill of delegation, you and your team will reap the benefits. You will be free to take on bigger projects and responsibilities, and your subordinates will do the same. You will help to create an environment of collaboration and growth. In that setting, everybody wins!