Making more time, delegating more effectively

For many of you, you may want to remain comfortable making the same decisions you have always made. Do you believe you can do a better job yourself? You don’t want to risk losing control of the situation or outcome after all, you don’t want to risk giving authority to your team in case they fail.

Here are 10 tips for effective delegation and, more importantly, effective supervision:

Stop Doing, Start Leading

1. Delegate early.
Make an effort to delegate the task early to avoid unnecessary stress. This allows the person to plan the task more effectively and in a style that suits them.

2. Choose the right person.
Ensure that the person has the time to take on the responsibility. Assess the skills and capabilities of your staff and assign the task to the most appropriate person. Make sure the person has the training and resources to succeed. Offer support should it be needed. Make it collaborative.

3. Communicate the rationale and benefit.
Communicate the purpose of the task and how it will contribute to the goals of the company or department or team. Also, point out how the delegated task could benefit the person. For example, develop a specific skill. that is needed to get promoted. Remember a routine task to you may be a new challenging task to your employee.

4. Give accountability to one individual if possible.
This gives the person the responsibility, increases their motivation and avoids ambiguity in accountability. Otherwise, different people will have different ideas about who does what when.

5. Get the brief right, set clear goals and expectations.
Be clear and specific on what is expected. Give information on what, why, when, who and where. You might leave the “how” to them. Be prepared to accept input from your team member. Confirm and verify task goals and expectations.

6. Delegate responsibility and authority.
Ensure that the team member is given the relevant responsibility and authority to complete the task. Let them complete the task in the manner they choose, as long as the results are what you specified. Be willing to accept ideas from them on how to approach the project, after all you are not always right.

7. Provide support, guidance and instructions.
Point your employee to the support and resources they may need to complete the project. That could be people, budget or information they need to coordinate, Be willing to be a resource yourself.

8. Take personal interest in the progress of delegated task.
Request to be updated on the progress of the task, provide assistance when necessary. Don’t try to control merely to be kept in the loop. Keep communication lines open, regular meetings on large tasks can provide this ongoing feedback.

9. If you’re not satisfied with the progress, don’t take the project back immediately.
Rather, continue to work with the employee and ensure they understand the project to be their responsibility. Give advice on ways to improve. This ensures accountability and dependability.

10. Evaluate and recognise performance.
Evaluate results more than methods. Recognise successes and review and discuss shortfalls for improvements.

By delegating more effectively, you empower your teams, you tap into their specialist knowledge and you never know you may even learn something new. Great leadership needs delegation, for happy teams and the best outcomes.

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