Your Effectiveness Comes From Your Team

Steps to Effective Delegation

You have way too much on your plate not to delegate. You’re a busy manager with a lot of responsibilities. You know that delegating is one of the most critical skills for any manager to develop. You tried to delegate, and you found that you weren’t really sure what you were doing. You’re not the first leader to try delegating and realize you don’t know what you’re doing.

Delegating is not a once-in-time event; rather, it is a process that starts with you.

Try this:

The first step to delegating is to determine what assignments you should delegate.

  • Delegate tasks that don’t require you to handle them personally. You have enough to do that requires your attention. Use your team to tackle the jobs that don’t require your personal attention and get back to what does.
  • Delegate tasks for which you aren’t the expert on your team. You have a team of people who are skilled in handling the technical details of the operation. Your job is to get the job done through their expertise.
  • Delegate tasks that will grow your people. Certainly, you need to grow as a manager and leader, but your staff needs to grow as professionals and people too.

Second, you want to delegate to the right person.

  • Delegate tasks to a person with the drive to get it done. Giving a task to one of your more motivated employees will often stimulate their motivation to higher levels.
  • Delegate tasks to the person with the right skills. The task should match the skillset of the person you chose. Give your administrative professional the spreadsheet and the computer project to your IT expert.
  • Delegate tasks to someone with the appropriate level of professional maturity. More than just assigning a task, delegating also means transferring authority. Be certain the person to which you are delegating has the maturity to handle the authority you are giving them.
  • Delegate to someone with ambition. Someone on your team with aspirations to advance will take advantage of your delegation to prove why they are your next pick for a promotion.

Third, communicate clearly what you expect from your delegate.

  • Communicate your expected outcome. How does the delegate know when they’ve accomplished their task? Provide as much detail as is necessary to communicate success clearly.
  • Communicate the level of authority you’re giving. Delegating doesn’t mean you’re turning over responsibility. Rather, you’re transferring a portion of your authority to the delegate. Do you only need them to identify a problem for which you’ll provide a solution or do they have the ability to troubleshoot and fix the issue?
  • Communicate deadlines. You’ve heard the saying that a goal without a deadline is just a dream. Give clear, firm deadlines. Deadlines don’t necessarily mean the job is complete either. You may communicate a deadline for reporting, follow up, or progress.

Finally, provide the resources needed to do the job you delegated

  • Delegates need your personal support. Affirm often that you are available to your delegate for insight, answers, and support.
  • Delegates need the supplies to do the job. Delegating effectively means that you also ensure your delegate has the tools, materials, and people needed to get the job done.
  • Delegates need feedback. As you check progress and meet at deadlines, provide honest, encouraging feedback so your people know how they’re doing.

Question: Which of these steps have been holding back your effectiveness? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

I am an author, speaker, and leader with a passion for developing people into practical leaders who put their principles into practice. I am the co-author of the acclaimed book Faith Acts with best-selling author Dillon Burroughs, the Chief Operations Officer at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, and an independent leadership consultant to up and coming leaders and start up nonprofit organizations. My greatest joy, however, is serving Christ and his Church. I am the proud husband of Shay and father of two great boys. We live in Chattanooga, TN. #NoogaStrong

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or downright annoying.

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