Are you overworked or burned out? Whether you have a team you oversee at work or you’re a parent with a busy life, everyone can benefit from brushing up on their delegation skills. Because the truth is, everyone is a leader. We all have people we communicate with and who look to us for advice, support, and guidance. Therefore, in this article, we’ll teach you how to delegate so you can make the impactful shift to becoming a better leader and using your time more effectively.
What Does It Mean To ‘Delegate’?
Delegating is a crucial leadership skill that means transferring ownership of a task or project to another person. It not only decreases your workload, thereby preventing burnout, but it also improves efficiency and strengthens your relationship with your team.
Why Should You Learn to Delegate?
Learning to delegate is a powerful tool that demonstrates trust and teaches you how to build relationships. It occurs when you assign work you could do yourself to another person on your team. This transfer is collaborative, and its success hinges on you as a leader. If you remain involved, open, communicative, and trust that the person can complete the task, your business and overall life will improve. Your team will feel respected, valued, and appreciated. It’s also a great opportunity to enhance your skills as a role model and set a collaborative narrative for the rest of your team.
How to Delegate Effectively: 8 Tips and Tricks
1. Analyze when to delegate
Deciding when to delegate is a critical component. As an entrepreneur, leader, or parent, you may find yourself in the “I-can-do-it-all mindset”. But you’ll eventually reach a point of burnout or overwhelm. To prevent this, consider the tasks that are habitual for you that no longer present a challenge and delegate those to save time and mental resources for more challenging ones. Also, while it’s helpful to complete extra tasks to support your team, ensure you are not always carrying the load. It’s good to delegate other minute tasks so you can focus on the company’s long-term goals and challenges.
2. List the tasks
What tasks do you want to delegate? List every task you don’t have time to complete, the ones stressing you the most, and any that would lighten your load. While you’re listing them, ask yourself which ones have the most priority? Consider the end results and overrall vision you want to achieve.
3. Evaluate the tasks
Before you begin delegating any task, evaluate the tasks at hand. For example, if you want to delegate a task to Mark, ask yourself if delegating it to him is the right choice. Aim to make the best match between the task and the individual to maximize success, engagement, and time. There are a few factors to include to make the correct handoff. Consider their capacity. Do they have the time to take on more work? And consider their ability. Will delegating this task require more training? More training equals more time. Therefore, evaluate the project and the person you want to entrust from multiple angles.
4. Clearly communicate as you delegate
As the leader, it’s up to you to be as clear as possible. Therefore, while delegating, explain the desired results and expected time frame, provide specific instructions, and identify any constraints the person might have to complete them. Even better, if you can, include your team in the decision-making. For example, offer them a chance to decide what tasks they want to take on. It will offer more respect.
5. Inspire and empower your team
When you learn how to delegate, empowerment should be at the forefront of your leadership. People become excited when they have support, a clear pathway to contribute, and are more likely to stay committed. Therefore, be available to answer questions, provide ongoing communication, and discuss how their role and success will impact financial rewards and future opportunities. Connect the task at hand to their role and impact, and provide encouragement and recognition. Indeed, delegation is an opportunity to empower and support your team – not to assert power or micromanage. There’s a fine balance.
6. Hold your team and yourself accountable
When you delegate a task to someone else, you’re relinquishing that task for them to complete. But leaders sometimes step away too much and become disconnected from their team. So, if you receive the task and it doesn’t meet your expectations, ask yourself what happened with you first? Did you provide ongoing support, clearly communicate how to complete the task, and give them sufficient time? As a leader, you’re also a role model, and it’s best to help them problem solve, guide them, and empathize. Discover what went wrong and pivot.
7. Always focus on the end goal
It’s challenging to release control and delegate a task to someone else, especially if you usually complete the work yourself. But as a leader, it’s also important to value and trust your team. So, instead of focusing on how the work should be done, release control and focus on the end goal. Keep your attention on what needs to be accomplished rather than believing you know the best or only way. Your team is your team for a reason. Allow them to complete the task with their strategies, skills, and processes. If you do, more success, trust, and respect will flow.
8. Provide feedback
Feedback is critical in the delegation process. It prevents underperformance, clears up any miscommunication, and ensures success. When possible, provide 1:1 meetings to receive feedback from the employee and for you to address any barriers and provide praise. Feedback works both ways. When you offer them a chance to voice their concerns, it establishes trust and clear communication. You also know what you need to improve going forward.
Remember, learning how to delegate has its challenges. It won’t always be smooth. But stay patient, maintain a growth mindset, and reflect on your progress. Every step forward to lightening your load and strengthening your relationships with your team is worth celebrating.
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