The Art of Effective Delegation: Why Do You Keep Doing EVERYTHING?

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“When I delegate projects to my team members, I don’t always get the results I want.”
“Isn’t it easier to just do it myself?”

Do you continually hear yourself saying this? When will NOW be the time to change so you can begin to reap the benefits you are currently losing out on because you are afraid to delegate?

In a study shared by Harvard Business Review examining the entrepreneurial skills of 143 CEOs listed on the Inc. 500, it was found that companies led by executives proficient in delegating authority experienced accelerated growth, increased revenue, and contributed to long-term job creation. Effective delegation involves giving responsibility (with or without authority) for the completion of tasks to someone else. This is an important management skill set to master and can save a lot of time and energy. This article will discuss important reasons why you should delegate, how to delegate, and what happens when you fail to let go.

Benefits of Effective Delegation

There are several reasons why learning delegation skills is a tremendous benefit to you and your team members:

  1. People will learn to effectively complete responsibilities that you don’t have the time to do and you are able to get a lot more done.
  2. Lower-priority tasks may be more cost-effective for someone else to complete so you can concentrate on high-priority items that make money for your business.
  3. Believe it or not, others may have skills that are better than yours in certain areas and can complete the task in less time than you.
  4. Delegation is an important way to develop your team and improve their overall morale while giving them the opportunity to learn new skills.
  5. As a manager – your goal is to be more involved in planning, strategic thinking, and continuous improvement efforts and less involved in the day-to-day tasks of the organization. Learning to effectively delegate work to someone else is an important leadership skill that will help get the job done.

Effective Delegation Best Practices

Simple tips on how to get started delegating:

  1. Analyze your tasks to decide what to delegate. Anything that is taking loads of your time and not yielding stellar results – LET IT GO! Anything that could be done by another team member given the right direction – JUST DO IT!
  2. Select the right person for the job. Analyze the skill sets and willingness of your team members to determine who to delegate to. You may find that some people will need more direction the first time than others, but with your coaching, they may improve their ability to carry out future delegated tasks ~ unassisted.
  3. Delegate the whole enchilada. Don’t just hand out pieces of a project. People get pleasure from seeing a delegated task to completion and the final result will likely end up being of consistent quality if completed by one person.
  4. Explain why the task is important and the results expected including deadlines, progress reports, resources to use, etc. This is pivotal to the delegation process.
  5. Provide support and coaching as requested and provide frequent check ins. Consider these development opportunities for your team members.
  6. Give recognition for a job well done so that your team members will feel confident being delegated to in the future.
  7. Trust in the process you have established. Don’t be afraid of mistakes – they are learning opportunities for the future and a part of professional development for your coworkers. Give performance reviews! Let this be an opportunity for co-workers to develop new skill sets and leadership experience. Trust the job will get done.

Why People Fail to Delegate Work

Despite all the benefits of delegating tasks, many people don’t delegate tasks for a variety of reasons including:

  • Lack of time
  • Fear of mistakes or not having the delegated work done your way
  • Feeling the task is outside of the employee’s job description
  • Enjoyment of the task
  • Fear of losing or surrendering control and decision-making to other staff members
  • Fear of becoming dispensable
  • Lack of trust in team members
  • New managers may not have the confidence in their methods of delegation

However, these reasons do not outweigh the potential benefit you will receive from effective delegation. Don’t let these excuses hold you back from getting the support that you need to reduce your stress, increase your ability to delegate effectively, improve team morale among co-workers, and achieve the desired outcome. Just be sure to choose the right tasks to delegate, the right team member to delegate to, and delegate in the right way. This is the next step to develop your leadership skills. So get started on assigning tasks today!

Even “Super-You” needs help and support. There is no shame in asking for assistance. Push aside the pride and show respect for the talent others can bring to the table.
And, remember that there is no such thing as a single-handed success: When you include and acknowledge all those in your corner, you propel yourself, your teammates and your supporters to greater heights.

                                – Author Unknown.

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