“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling while they do it, but monitoring the work to make sure it’s on the right path.” – Teddy Roosevelt, 26th U.S. President – who had the Teddy Bear named after him.
Delegating Topics: Benefits of, reducing Procrastination? Guidelines for D’g, the Process of , Next Steps, Other Factors to consider.
From Inability to Ability. The inability to delegate properly is the main reason that some executives fail. Executives & managers often mistake delegation for passing off work. So they don’t do it – then they wind up wasting their time as well as the company’s time & resources.
Delegation requires Time Management, thereby increasing your effectiveness, efficiency & productivity. When you are strong in TM, you are exercising conscious control of making choices about what you do, when you do it and how well you do it. But even if you excel in Time Management, what prevents you from taking the next step and delegating work to others?
When you Delegate, you are trusting another person – usually one less senior than yourself. Delegating requires trust & faith in the other person. There are three actions included in the act of delegating
- Making decisions
- Giving authority to someone else
- Turning over your authority
- Benefits Of Delegation
Delegating has several benefits that need to be considered: it
- gives you more time to focus on higher-level tasks
- also gives you more time for things that matter to you – are the most important !!!
- gives others opportunities to develop new skills
- allows others to develop themselves & grow
- allows you to develop trust in others
- introduces you to new ways of doing tasks
Even though there are several advantages to Delegating, the main reason it does not happen is because delegating requires setting up a system & structure – which takes effort to implement. Very few individuals have set up a system to delegate their work, which often prevents them from moving up in the organization.
A. What’s Holding you Back?
Common Excuses for not delegating are, “It’s easier & quicker if I do it myself” + “No one else can do it as well as I can.” These justifications are a self-deception. The question you need to ask yourself is, “Are you staying busy doing tasks that another person could or should do?”
An Additional Trap you can fall into is doing mean menial tasks that take up your time, yet do not require applying yourself. This puts you in the realm of mental ease tease – also known as busy work. These tasks can be assigned and may – for the person you can delegate that work to – be a challenge, until they have developed the skill & expertise. This is a common diversion from work that lowers your mental strain, but can lead to “procrastination” – one of the worse habits to get into. If you fall into this category, your Time Management may not be executed effectively. Delegation & development go hand in hand. Questions to consider when you delegate are:
- Do you know and can you rely on the skills & abilities of those you delegate to?
- Are the performance standards & expectations clear & obvious?
- Are there rules/guidelines to be followed to entrust someone with a task or responsibility?
- Is there too much authority given or not enough for the task to be sufficiently completed?
B. Guidelines For Delegating
- When building an atmosphere to delegate, there needs to be clear objectives for the person taking on the additional responsibility.
- You need to establish an understanding of the task assigned.
- Be clear on the objectives & outcomes.
- Ask for any concerns they may have and their suggestions & ideas.
- Have an understanding of the goal.
- Clarify the what, when & why.
- Establish the major do’s & don’ts.
- Be clear about the amount of time and/or money to spend.
- Afterward, review & assess the outcome. This process builds a consensus & trust.
C. Understanding the Process
- Feedback. Once the procedure and objectives have been discussed, have the person repeat back on what you are trying to accomplish and what they understand to be the key goals or deliverables. And make sure to check on their progress.
- Periodic Updates enhance the quality of work and the likelihood of the deadline being met. If the person you are delegating to is learning a new task, they are in cognitive strain, which means the task will take more time. Your expectations need to be realistic and not measured by how quickly you can accomplish the task. Be sensitive to the learning curve timeframe.
- Developing new Skills is one of the goals of effective delegation is to help someone. During this process, they need to be able to tackle unseen problems on their own before coming to you. Once they have explored all their resources and still cannot solve the issues, it is time for you to step in. Let them know it is okay to make a mistake, as a mistake is a teachable moment and we usually learn more from making a mistake than from arriving at the correct answer.
- D-briefing – the need to review & assess the process & outcome. You gain a greater understanding of the other person’s thought process, how they arrived at and made decisions, + how they approach problem-solving. Each of these areas is crucial to building trust, so that you can feel comfortable in delegating more.
D. What are the Next Steps?
Set up a system beginning with – what work you can & should be delegating. This requires totally understanding & assessing the task.
- Goals. Write out specific & clear objectives.
- Who: Think about who can learn to undertake this task and address their concerns.
- Clear. Make sure they are clear about the goal.
- Monitor progress to stay involved, and when the task is completed,
- Review the process – to determine what you can learn from it.
E. Other Factors to Delegate Successfully?
- Don’t expect Perfection.
Your objective is to get the job done, not create a masterpiece. Establish a standard of quality & a reasonable time-frame for reaching it. Once you establish the goal, let your staff use their creativity to decide how to carry out the work. Make them feel comfortable that they can come to you for advise or problems.
- Provide complete job instructions.
Make sure your employee has all the information needed to complete the job. Confirm that he/she understands–and accepts–the requirements.
- Stop believing – you’re the “only one” who can do the Job properly.
Just because an employee does things differently, doesn’t mean s/he won’t do the job right or as well. If you establish goals & guidelines to follow, then methodology shouldn’t be an issue. An important and often overlooked part of delegation is that it helps develop employees for advancement and creates a better work environment for the whole organization.
- Focus on teaching new Skills.
Delegating doesn’t mean passing off work you don’t enjoy, but letting your employees stretch their skills and judgment. As you hand over greater responsibility, it’s important to understand that learning new skills sometimes includes making mistakes. Don’t punish employees who – make a good effort to do things right.
- Check on their Progress,
but let the employee do the work. Don’t look over employees’ shoulders or watch their every move. When you set the expectations in the beginning, make sure you build in checkpoints for follow-up.
- say “Thank You” to the people who have accepted the responsibility & accomplished the Goal.
Make sure employees know that their efforts are recognized & appreciated. Don’t just say it privately, share it at a meeting.
Conclusion: The more you develop others, the more you are able to move up, taking on more challenges and opportunities in the organization to develop yourself.
Comments: Do you know anything else we could do to Delegate more effectively?
from Forbes & Inc Zine 10/18 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz