What if they do a better job than me? What if they’re after my job? What if the boss thinks they are more capable than I am, and they end up getting promoted before me? What role do I have left, if I delegate all these tasks?
What if they do it all wrong and I get the blame? What if they can’t do the task in the time it’s needed? How can I keep all these tasks under control? How much extra time is it going to take me to support the person I’m delegating to? Surely it’s going to be more work than it’s worth!
I’m sure all of us have thought at least one of these in our time, when considering how and what to delegate to others. However, identifying our fears and concerns is a key part of learning to delegate effectively. And delegation is vital as it’s advantageous for the organisation, team, individual and manager.
If you’re feeling stressed and overworked, or worried that your career seems to be standing still, it might be worth looking at what, how much and how well you’re delegating. With a limited number of hours in the day, but demands on managers increasing, you have to find a way to successfully achieve more with the resources you have.
A manager who delegates well can increase the time they have for strategic thinking and development for their team, increase goal achievements, and build their reputation as a trusting manager who invests in their team. And rather than worrying that those you delegate might get ahead of them, they’re actually more likely to be promoted with a succession plan of successful employees they’ve helped develop. It’s not about giving away power, but a valuable tool to empower others.
Team members get the opportunity for skills development, career enhancement and job satisfaction, leading to motivation and engagement. And the resulting increased productivity, improved customer service, cost reduction and pool of skilled leaders of the future are all big wins for the organisation.
To get the best from your delegation, one of the first things you need to consider is who to and who not to delegate tasks to.
Don’t delegate to someone who:
- hasn’t got the skills necessary for the task
- obviously lacks the confidence for a specific task (although your support and guidance can build this over time)
- is new to their role and so just establishing themselves
- lacks motivation or is reluctant to take responsibility to help with the planning
Delegate to those who have the skills, knowledge and experience applicable to the specific task (taking into consideration the time and resources for support and training). Consider their current workload and help them prioritise if necessary. Leverage their strengths and think about the individual’s working style, career aspirations and long term goals to see if they align to the tasks involved. People are more likely to take responsibility for tasks if they help move them towards their own personal development goals.
With a little patience, support, guidance, and clarity you can ensure that the person you are delegating to can confidently succeed in their role, freeing you up to develop the strategic leadership skills that will enhance your own future career.
What other benefits have you experienced from effective delegation?
Click HERE for more information on how executive coaching could help you develop self-awareness to enhance the communication skills and leadership skills needed for effective delegation.