To figure out how to delegate properly, it's important to understand why people avoid it. Quite simply, people don't delegate because it takes a lot of up-front effort. After all, which is easier: designing and writing content for a brochure that promotes a new service you helped spearhead, or having other members of your team do it? You know the content inside and out. You can spew benefit statements in your sleep. It would be relatively straightforward for you to sit down and write it. It would even be fun! The question is, "Would it be a good use of your time?"
While on the surface it's easier to do it yourself than explain the strategy behind the brochure to someone else, there are two key reasons that mean that it's probably better to delegate the task to someone else:
First, if you have the ability to spearhead a new campaign, the chances are that your skills are better used further developing the strategy, and perhaps coming up with other new ideas. By doing the work yourself, you're failing to make best use of your time.
Second, by meaningfully involving other people in the project, you develop those people's skills and abilities. This means that next time a similar project comes along, you can delegate the task with a high degree of confidence that it will be done well, with much less involvement from you.
Delegation allows you to make the best use of your time and skills, and it helps other people in the team grow and develop to reach their full potential in the organization.
When to Delegate :
Delegation is a win-win when done appropriately, however that does not mean that you can delegate just anything. To determine when delegation is most appropriate there are five key questions you need to ask yourself:
- Is there someone else who has (or can be given) the necessary information or expertise to complete the task?
- Essentially is this a task that someone else can do, or is it critical that you do it yourself?
- Does the task provide an opportunity to grow and develop another person's skills?
- Is this a task that will recur, in a similar form, in the future?
- Do you have enough time to delegate the job effectively?
- How much time is there available to do the job?
- Is there time to redo the job if it's not done properly the first time?
- What are the consequences of not completing the job on time?
- How important is it that the results are of the highest possible quality?
- Is an "adequate" result good enough?
- Would a failure be crucial?
- How much would failure impact other things?
- What knowledge, skills and attitude does the person already have?
- Do you have time and resources to provide any training needed?
- How independent is the person?
- What does he or she want from his or her job?
- What are his or her long-term goals and interest, and how do these align with the work proposed?
- Does the person have time to take on more work?
- Will you delegating this task require reshuffling of other responsibilities and workloads?
- Wait to be told what to do?
- Ask what to do?
- Recommend what should be done, and then act?
- Act, and then report results immediately?
- Initiate action, and then report periodically?
- Discuss timelines and deadlines.
- Agree on a schedule of checkpoints at which you'll review project progress.
- Make adjustments as necessary.
- Take time to review all submitted work.