There’s a well known saying that goes, “If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.” However, the more you unpack the statement, the more you realize it’s not exactly true. In fact, we should banish this concept altogether and replace it with the equally famous “two heads are better than one!”
How many times have you felt overwhelmed with tasks but had doubts about delegating? Many people feel more comfortable getting the job done on their own, sometimes because they feel they alone know the project down to the smallest details, and it would be too overwhelming to explain to another person. Or, they prefer doing things on their own because they think that asking for help would admit to their inability to complete a task. Or, the fear that some surprising or hidden outcome would occur by getting others involved.
These mindsets do not do anybody any favors! In reality, sometimes it takes more courage to ask for help, than it would to do something on your own. Smart delegation is a very powerful tool that can boost your organization’s performance to a whole new level. So here are some ways we can move towards smart and effective delegation:
As people grow with their positions, they should be prepared to let go. Yes! Letting go of old tasks will not only give more freedom in your new position but will also give space for younger employees to learn and develop to the full capabilities of their new position. Many leaders and managers sometimes mistake delegation for passing off work, but this is quite inaccurate. Delegation is about sharing tasks and/or responsibilities among a team of people. Delegation is beneficial in that it doesn’t put too much weight on any one’s pair of shoulders. An employee that decides not to ask for help runs the risk of becoming swamped with tasks, and demotivated.
BELIEVE IN OTHERS THE WAY YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
Get rid of the misleading belief that you are the only one who can do the task. If you can do something, chances are, others can too! Especially if you provide clear objectives and/or goals, people will then become enthusiastic about helping out and might even find alternative new methods to complete a task.
SELECT THE RIGHT PERSON
You need to ensure that you select a person who has enough time for the delegated task. Also, you’ll need to assign the task to the most appropriate person in terms of skills and capabilities, and make sure it’s someone who already has the necessary resources required to get the job done.
PREPARE THOROUGHLY AND ATTENTIVELY.
You can’t expect people to deliver quality results if the task handed over isn’t totally thought out. Take your time to pay attention to detail and develop a complete plan that clearly illustrates the whole picture. Hesitation or continuous changes in the course of action will only cause confusion and waste precious time.
MAKE IT CRYSTAL CLEAR
Make sure to give a detailed orientation around the task’s rationale and benefit. Identify the nature of the task, its importance, and highlight how the employee’s contribution can make a huge impact. Don’t leave out any details and make sure to have all questions answered. Conduct check points to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
GUIDE, TEACH AND SUPPORT
Become the helping hand and guide people to the tools they need to have the task or the project done. If you’ve noticed that the employee is stuck at some certain stage share with them the know-how or give them ideas on how they can get this part done.
CHECK PROGRESS BUT DON’T MICROMANAGE
Give space and room to allow for creativity and don’t be over controlling. Check on the progress from time to time without looking over shoulders all the time. This will lead to making them feel watched and monitored. This behavior can result in demotivation or feeling their job isn’t satisfying or that they aren’t capable enough.
APPRECIATE, SAY THANK YOU, AND MOTIVATE
Successful managers and leaders are ones who show appreciation and make sure that employees’ efforts don’t go unrecognized. Say thank you more often and state how their work made a difference. By doing so you will get your staff motivated and enthused to deliver better results and will become more productive.