Making the shift from doing to leading can be challenging for any supervisor, but great leaders need to master the skill of delegating.
Delegating is a true skill set. Some leaders find it very difficult to let go of the control over daily tasks. They spend their time focusing on mundane details, instead of passing the work to their qualified team members.
To be an efficient leader, you must develop the skill of moving tasks off you plate. Delegating is a great way of encouraging your team members and creating new opportunities for their professional growth and development.
“True organizational productivity requires engaged, informed personnel willing and eager to work toward the organization’s mission and vision. And it all starts with a simple concept that’s amazingly hard for some people to implement: letting go of control,” writes Laura Stack for Vistage.com.
And though letting go of control can be very difficult, the increasing pressure of having all the responsibilities fall on you can have major impacts on the quality of your work. If delegating doesn’t come naturally to you, practice! In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, Director in PwC’s Leadership Coaching Center of Excellence Jesse Sostrin suggests three practical tips for easing into the art of delegating.
3 tips to master the skill of delegating
Choose the right people
If you want to save time and focus on leading your staff, you need to have a strong team behind you. A large part of feeling comfortable delegating is having trust in the people that support your efforts. Knowing you have smart, capable team members allows leaders to be confident in the work that’s taking place. To get the most out of delegating, set up a reporting structure and make it known that you’re available for help. Then step back and give your team the space to do their jobs.
Inspire their commitments
Fully committed team members understand how their work is contributing to the big picture. “Once you’ve defined the work, clarified the scope of their contribution, and ensured that it aligns with their capacity, carefully communicate any and all additional expectations for complete understanding. This is crucial when you have a precise outcome or methodology in mind,” writes Sostrin. Make your expectations challenging, yet achievable. And always keep your door open. Open lines of communication are key in ensuring your team understands your expectations and is committed to the work.
Stay engaged, but not involved
Being too involved can lead to micromanaging. Being too hands-off can lead to missed opportunities to offer support and help. Finding the balance between the two is crucial in being an efficient delegator. You need to find the spot where you can offer support but give your team the space they need to feel confident in their own abilities. Not sure where that sweet spot is? Ask! Some employees will appreciate a little more guidance, where others will want to figure it out on their own. As you practice delegating, you’ll get to know your team better and learn the best ways to support them. And never shy away from sharing praising when a task is done correctly.
Delegating is a must for saving time and money in any office. However, delegating is much more than just assigning tasks. When done correctly, it creates opportunity and empowerment for your staff, as well as yourself. It will take a bit of practice, but it’s never too late to start mastering new skills.
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