The biggest limiting factor which hinders growth of successful young managers to middle management is their inability to delegate effectively. There are only so many working hours in a day and you can do only so much all alone. It’s time that you used the power of cloud computing by leveraging the resources available in your network. Understanding how to delegate effectively is certainly one of the most important skills a manager needs to master as he/ she moves up in an organization.

Malcolm Stevenson Forbes said “If you don’t know what to do with many of the papers piled on your desk stick a dozen colleague’s initials on them and pass them along. When in doubt, route.”

Why Should You Delegate Effectively?

The majority of managers are caught in a never ending list of tasks with their bosses on their heels. They work extended hours on weekends, time is never enough. This is a result of doing too much on their own without using their power to delegate effectively.

Learning to delegate effectively is a key career transition skill which the new managers need to imbibe as they grow in their career from being an individual contributor to a team manager.  Delegation is a means of achieving results through the actions of others. Effective delegation is a great tool for developing your people and increasing employee engagement.

Managers who delegate tasks create free time and use it to propel their career by picking up additional tasks beyond their normal duties.  This portrays them in positive light in the eyes of management as they have the “Bandwidth “to take on critical assignments if needed.

How To Delegate Effectively?

This is the most difficult part of learning to delegate and most of the mangers don’t delegate as they taste failure when they delegate for the first time. It’s the once bitten twice shy syndrome. The 10 mantra’s to delegate successfully are.

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  1. Set SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound for the tasks you plan to delegate.
  2. People need to know what you are expecting from them and by when for the tasks you plan to delegate. People cannot read your mind so don’t assume.
  3. People need to know how you will measure success of the tasks that you plan to delegate.
  4. What are the resources people will get if they work on the tasks that you plan to delegate
  5. Define the checkpoints that you will monitor for the tasks you plan to delegate. Give timely feedback and praise.
  6. People need to understand the bigger picture for the tasks they are working on, this motivates them.
  7. Delegate to the people who can do the job and those who can almost do it, your success depends on the success of the task. Delegate only to people who are ready to handle the challenge and are motivated by the task.
  8. Give people more time than what you would take to complete the task if you delegate it to them – don’t set time lines on your capability.
  9. Be available for help; however desist the urge to do the task. Don’t carry their burden. The goal is to help delegatees proceed from dependence to independence by expanding their comfort zones and potential.
  10. Use people’s strength in allocating tasks which you plan to delegate . Don’t delegate tasks which will expose their weakness and set them and your task for failure.

What Stops You From Delegating Effectively?

Are you an individual contributor in the guise of a team manager, you prefer to do everything yourself because no one else will be able to match the quality you deliver.

  • Do you have unrealistic expectations from your team members and they have to be better than you?
  • Are you a perfectionist and a rare commodity which comes at a personal price which you pay willingly?
  • You cannot take the blame for your team member’s performance.
  • Are you insecure about your role and position and want to keep all the tricks of the trade to yourself and don’t want any of your team members to climb up.
  • You are sometimes more comfortable “doing” than “managing.

If you fit these descriptors maybe you need to rethink if you want to be in the management and team managers role.

As Marshall Goldsmith says -Always remember to “Delegate more effectively — don’t just Delegate more frequently.”

Delegation is one of the most difficult skills to excel in because it is a developmental process for the person delegating the task and the person to whom the task is being delegated.  Delegation is founded on trust and developing the ability to ‘let go’.  So what will you do to multiply your effectiveness by delegating effectively.

Jappreet Sethi

 

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