I was reading an article on BBC’s website, fascinated by a leading car manufacturer taking the next step of automated self-parking cars, which then got me thinking of how you delegate a responsible task that could potentially result in a very expensive outcome if not done correctly.
1. Learn to Let Go – First and foremost, much like the car, you have to trust that it will work. How many times have you heard it said “If you need something done, it’s best to do it yourself”?… It’s a ‘Must’ to let this go.
Difficult to begin with, so start with singular, low priority tasks. Remember, it’s the end result that’s important, not necessarily the route someone takes. Who knows, they may even find a more efficient way!
With continued examples of success, your own confidence will grow and further more complex tasks can be delegated.
2. Invest Time – Effective delegation is a long-term process needing guidance and patience. Short-term, yes, it is quicker to do something yourself but this seriously puts the brakes on development of the business!
I was guilty of this myself as a director. Once I realised that spending a little time helping and training those around me, I soon found I could let things go.
Invest time in training and teaching others. This may appear painful but in the long-term, benefits of not just saving you time can be seen. People respond better when they feel they are trusted to accomplish a task.
3. Clear Instructions – As with the earlier car example, previously, the input to enable a car to park itself filled the boot with technology, now it fits above the wheel arch.
With experience and responsibility, less time is required teaching or training the person(s) you’re delegating too but clarity is necessary throughout.
As with delegation, to begin, some tasks may need constant supervision. This is not to say you micro-manage but help and give motivation that the task is being performed correctly.
Clarity of objective and expectations must be set so the delegated person takes the responsibility and not just the task.
4. Empowerment – All too often I have seen things forgotten or distasteful tasks dumped on someone else to deal with. Thoughtful delegation empowers an employee to develop their own skill sets enhancing knowledge and abilities. They will eventually take over a task without you even getting involved, becoming independent and even more of an asset.
5. Downward Delegation – Carry out a time-audit on what you do over a week/month. Assess how you are spending your time on tasks not necessarily fitting of your position! I too got caught in the chains of progressing through the ranks to the position of director only to find that I was still doing the tasks of the junior manager.
Know what is necessary (both unlikeable and ‘likeable’ tasks!) for you to do and what can be delegated. Set about passing these on to someone else which starts to raise their levels of responsibility as well as freeing up your time.
Clarity is the key throughout the whole process. Successful managers know the importance of delegation and the strength this brings.
Coaching to success knows how delegation works best and we can help your company/firm to achieving the best way forward creating a happy workforce as a consequential outcome.