Let’s admit it, delegating can be a tough thing to navigate and master, and often it’s the one thing that defines a good leader, from a great one. So why is delegating such an intimidating process that most of us struggle to properly implement?
Most will put it down to the relinquishing of control, after all, it does require you to transfers some of your workload to someone else, trusting that they’ll do it well, on time and all the while knowing that the accountability remains with the one who’s delegating - you.
You’ll find most of the world’s esteemed leaders are experts at delegating. In fact, entrepreneur Richard Branson says it boldy: “You need to learn to delegate so you can focus on the big picture. It’s a fairytale to think you can do everything by yourself”.
With that said, a big part of being an effective leader is being able to determine which tasks are suitable for delegation, and which asks are not. This can be tricky at first, especially if it feels like none of your tasks can be delegated; well not without spending more time it takes to explain the task, than it would if you just did it yourself.
When you feel like none of your tasks can be delegated, try breaking down your tasks into what skills they require.
Here are my eight points of effective delegation to help support growth and performance within your team:
1. RELINQUISH CONTROL: When you hand over the task give the person complete responsibility for doing the task, in other words, try your hardest to not watch over their shoulder or micromanage them. This also increases the person’s motivation to complete the task as well.
2. MATCH THE SKILLS: Assess the skills and capabilities of the person you’re delegating to, and make sure they have the capability to complete it. Don’t set them up to fail. From a long-term perspective, they may need some training to get them to the point where they can take over that task with competence.
3. SET EXPECTATIONS: Provide information on what the results should look like, why those results are desired, when the results should be accomplished, who else might help the person, and what resources the person has to work with.
4. CREATIVE FREEDOM: Let the person complete the task in the manner that he/she chooses, as long as the desired results are likely to be what you, as the leader, specifies. Set a timeline but also let the person have some input as to the completion date. I.e when do you feel you could accomplish this by?
5. OUTLINE OBJECTIVES: No matter what type of task you're delegating, make sure to take the time to clarify all objectives for the task. Doing so can minimise miscommunication.
6. MILESTONES: Request status updates from the person. These reports should describe what he/she has accomplished so far and what is remaining to ensure the task is completed in the required timeframe.
7. DON’T TAKE OVER: If you are not satisfied with the progress do not take over and complete the task yourself. Continue to work with the person and identify the cause of your dissatisfaction. For example, is it lack of communication, training, resources or commitment by the person?
8. CONTINUOUS EVALUATION: Evaluate achievement of desired results more than the methods used by the person and appreciate everyone’s working styles. Address insufficient performance and reward successes on an ongoing basis.
Most of us fear delegating in our careers, because it means relying on another person to execute the task and on the flipside, some can fall into the trap of delegating and resting on their own laurels – to their own demise. Delegating effectively is an important skill to develop especially in the property industry where no two days are the same and resources are often stretched. The sooner you start to take on greater workloads and manage and delegate accordingly, the sooner you’ll most likely grow and prosper.