Delegation is considered a core proficiency of leaders because it’s so difficult to do. Most people think that there are certain tasks that only they can complete. As a leader, there isn’t time to complete each task personally so training and trusting others to perform those tasks is essential to success. When deciding to delegate, first consider your authority to do so, the responsibility you are placing on someone else, and how your will ensure the work is completed.
Delegating means to assign responsibility for completing an activity to someone else, either an employee on your team or another coworker. When delegating, make sure you have the authority to do so. This includes considering the workload of that person to ensure you will not be overburdening them, their skillset and ability to perform the task and other factors. If you aren’t able to perform these steps, you may want to step back to evaluate whether you have the appropriate level of authority to delegate work to that person.
It’s also important to consider whether that individual has the needed job description and work focus to complete the assigned task. If you are asking an administrative expert to fix a bug in a piece of software, you may be delegating to the wrong person. Understanding the current responsibilities of that individual will help you to ensure the work you’d like to delegate falls within their scope.
And finally, remember to establish a feedback process to allow you to check in on the status of the delegated work. Since this is not something that was on their current list of responsibilities, it can be easily forgotten or deprioritized. Checking in on delegated tasks will be important to their being completed on task and to the level of quality you expect.
When identify tasks to delegate, list all the tasks you do on a day-to-day basis and then highlight each one that you can easily ask another to perform. Then go through the list again and highlight all the tasks you can train another person to perform. Then look at the list again. You should only see a handful of things that should only really be done by you. If not, challenge yourself to look through the list again and remember, delegation is hard but frees you to become a stronger and more effective leader.
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