Essential Leadership Skills: Delegating

Essential Leadership Skills: Delegating  · 

The higher position you work in, the more you will need to delegate the hands-on work to other people. This skill is something that especially the new managers will need to learn quickly to be able to let go of their old tasks, and to get a solid grasp of what it means to drive results through a team, instead of creating them alone.  

Once you step into a role where you can delegate, you must start doing it, no matter how much you would like to do the things by yourself. Delegating is essential for building trust between you and your team, and it is also only way that the team will feel ownership of their work, learn and improve its performance. Delegating work and responsibilities also prevents you from becoming a bottleneck for your team and slowing it down. Just remember, when you delegate, don’t delegate and forget the topics. Keep the team accountable and ensure that the team delivers the expected results.

Basic process for delegating efficiently:

  1. Choose the right person / team for the task. If you are unsure who would be the best choice, talk with the team
  2. Give clear expectations, so that the team knows what, how and when they should execute. Agree also on how they will report their progress and results to you.
  3. Give full responsibility and authority for the team to complete the work. You should give clear limit to the authority, so they know what they can decide by themselves, and when they have to include you.
  4. Let the team work, and ask them to come to you if they need any help. Don’t force your help to them, or bother them by constantly asking about their progress.
  5. Check the intermediate results and give feedback on the agreed schedule. Help the team to solve problems that need help on your level, but don’t jump in to the tasks that the team should do. Not even if you think that you could maybe do them a bit faster and speed up the project.
  6. Keep the team accountable, and check that they deliver the expected results.
  7. Give final feedback (Don’t forget to also give the positive feedback)

This should be a routine process for you and your team, so you don’t have to think about it, or explain it every time you delegate.

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