We all know that we need to delegate more and that it’s going to require an adjustment to our normal behavior. That’s about as difficult a thing as there is to pull off. If we don’t delegate, we’ll be stuck where we are now, and we’ll be stuck there forever. Take time to free up some time for more important work by delegating something now. The rewards are many and they are long-lasting!
Encourage The Team To Master Delegation: When you and your team have started to delegate more, monitor the results and discuss them at your team meetings. Learn from mistakes. Discuss corrective actions and use mistakes as a learning moment for the whole team. Congratulate your team for their successes and encourage them to keep adjusting their approach when a mistake comes along, but remain supportive. Let the team know that the BEST teams work hard at becoming great at delegation and that it takes time and practice to Master the art. Remind them to call you out when you haven’t been delegating or supporting enough, and make sure that you steer clear of retribution when the team calls you out.
Challenge Yourself! – It’s a great idea to encourage your team to challenge you if they feel that you’re not delegating work to the team that you SHOULD be. You need to let them know that, while they might fear a rebuttal if they question you as a leader, you will actually WELCOME such an inquiry because it will challenge you to become more aggressive in delegating. Acknowledge to your team, that delegating ENOUGH is an admitted challenge for you now, and you need to learn to do it better and do it more often. Let them know that if they see a project that they want to engage in, they can volunteer to be a delegation recipient!
Recruit Delegation Readiness – When you are recruiting new people into the organization, ask them about their familiarity and experience with delegation. Set the expectation that delegation is one of the ways you choose to develop your people for more responsibility and ensure that they are willing to adapt, as that will be an important part of their role. Candidates who are not interested in personal growth or who have not experienced being delegated to, should not reach the top of your prospect stack rank.
Benefits – Look for delegation opportunities that will benefit three constituents: you, your associate and your team or organization. When delegation becomes an ingrained element of your culture, it begins to benefit your customers as well! Your team becomes deep and broad, which helps the team take great care of customers without too much specialization. That’s what I’d call a WIN/WIN/WIN/WIN!
Helicopter Manager? – Don’t be a helicopter delegator! When you have delegated a project of activity, don’t hover over your teammate or dictate to them how they should do the work. Give them ample direction to get started and to complete the mission successfully and then back away and let them figure out how to successfully navigate the waters on their own. You have to be willing to let them make a few mistakes as a learning opportunity. Let your associate find their way to success!
Persistence Pays! – Don’t run for the hills at the first sign of trouble. Learning how to become a GREAT delegator is one of the more challenging adjustments that you will ever make on your journey along the way to becoming a strong leader! It takes time and lots of patience, and there will be some TOUGH lessons learned along the way. Stick with it, you and your team are worth it!
Lean Out – When in doubt, delegate the task out! Be sure that you plan and prepare your team to handle all aspects of the delegation without too much ambiguity. Tell them virtually EVERYTHING that they will need to know to get started and get most of the way to success, and then let them figure out the rest along the way. Have a little fun with this, it doesn’t have to be a drag, and it doesn’t have to be drudgery. It will become a very good thing as you work at it and improve!
Almost half of the companies included in a 2007 study worried about their manager’s lack of delegation skills. Interestingly, only 28% of the companies in that study invested any time or money into helping their managers to learn how to become an expert in the art and science of delegation. Don’t make that mistake!