You’ve definitely had those days where your workload is just off the roof. Or up to the roof, to be exact. And, yes, overworking is kind of promoted nowadays. But, as a manager, delegation is a skill you must attain at some point. And I’m talking about effective delegation.
You see, effective delegation is about finding the right task for the right person. This will help them grow and help you have an extra hour of sleep or personal time every day. That’s a win-win in my book.
Yet, the art of delegation is somewhat of a taboo. No leader, no manager likes to load their team with more of their tasks. Even if they work on these menial things more than anyone else. That’s where I come in and say, “No, guys and gals, you need to delegate some tasks to some folks”.
So, I won’t just stop at the quote. No, no, we’ll dive deep into delegation. The Whos, the Whats, the Whys, all that. For now, though, let’s just stay at the understanding part.
Understanding Leadership Delegation
To fully understand effective leadership delegation, we’ll need a basis. I believe we all know that delegation basically means assigning and entrusting a team member to do parts of your managerial work. Of course, this can, and usually are, pretty lower-intensity, more practical stuff. The creative thinking part is still something you should do.
That being said, effective delegation is about doing the “right” things. Finding the right person for the right task at the right time and just making the whole process effortless. As a leader, doing this right can help you avoid burnout and overworking. And it can get some team members to reach their potential, whether that is getting a senior or a managerial position.
Alright, I’ve said right way too many times. But things aren’t rainbows and sunshine, folks. I know, and you know that you don’t want to delegate. And there are many reasons why that’s the case.
The Why Not – 5 Reasons Why Leaders Don’t Want To Delegate
No manager likes to delegate, especially early on in their new roles. It just feels wrong. And it’s okay to feel like that at first. Plus, there are plenty of reasons to back that up.
It can be time-consuming (in the short term)
I mean, it’s true. Training a team member to do part of your job might take hours compared to THE hour that it’d take you to do the work yourself. On top of that, you’ll need to be there for the whole team, actively engaging with each member. In itself, that takes a mental toll that’s more significant than the actual time you’ll spend.
Some projects are just fun
Yep, this is also true. There are just some tasks and some projects that are interesting. Or even fun. And, you just want to be there, right front and center. You know, it’s these projects that don’t really feel like work yet take up way too much time and should be delegated.
Guilt over assigning work to others
As a manager, your primary role is to lead a team. So, when you assign them extra work, you may feel guilty. After all, you’re adding more stacks of paper to their already huge workloads. And you expect them to get these new tasks done flawlessly? Ah, better do them yourself, then.
Lack of trust in the team
This might sound harsh, but it’s often very true. Many leaders don’t fully trust their entire team to get additional tasks and projects done. Moreso done correctly and quickly. This might stem from previous experiences with the same team, or it might just be that you have a self-serving bias.
It’s a way for the leader to feel important for the team
Look, everyone wants to feel important – especially in the workplace. But, being the person who takes up huge workloads of menial tasks isn’t going to cut it. You’re a manager, a leader. You should be managing the team and coming up with creative ideas, not making spreadsheets.
The Why – 4 Reasons Why Leaders Should Delegate
Let's flip the script and talk about why you should be delegating. It's not just about lightening your load; it's about building a stronger, more capable team. Let's break down the major reasons why delegation isn't just necessary; it's essential.
Frees Up Time
Delegation isn't just about offloading work; it's about smart time management. When you delegate, you free up your schedule to focus on the big-picture stuff. The strategic moves. It's about creating space for those Eureka moments that just don't come when you're bogged down in the nitty-gritty.
Empowers The Team
Let's talk empowerment. Delegation is a vote of confidence. It says, "I trust you. I believe in you." It motivates your team to step up their game and take ownership. And when they do, they grow, and so does your team's overall capability.
New Skills Acquired
This is where the magic happens. Delegation is a training ground. Your team members learn new skills. You get better at delegating. Together, you build a more versatile, resilient team. It's like leveling up in a game, but this is real life, and the stakes are high.
Priorities Are Set
Delegation forces you to prioritize. What's crucial? What's not? You'll need to decide what you must do yourself and what you can hand off. It's a great exercise in critical thinking and prioritization. And, it keeps your team focused on what's truly important.
The Who – The 3 Criteria To Choose Who You Should Delegate To
Now, it's not just about delegating tasks willy-nilly. There's a method to this madness I call delegation. Let's dive into the three critical criteria you should consider when deciding who to delegate tasks to.
Look at the skills required for the task. Who's got ‘em? Who's almost there and could use this as a development opportunity? Matching skills to tasks is like matchmaking – get it right, and it's a beautiful thing.
Potential is key. Who's showing signs of growth? Who's hungry for more? These are the people you want to invest in.
Lastly, consider the output. Who consistently delivers quality work? You want reliable performers handling your tasks. It's about trust and track record.
The When – The 3 Situations When Delegation Is Necessary
Timing is everything, folks. Knowing when to delegate is just as important as knowing what and to whom. There are certain situations where delegation isn't just beneficial; it's a necessity. Let's explore the key moments when you should be reaching out to your team and spreading the workload.
When You Feel Burnt Out
If you're feeling the heat, it's a sign. Delegate before you burn out. It's not just good for you; it's good for your team. They get to step up, and you get to step back and recharge.
When The Work Is Recurring
Got tasks that pop up again and again? Delegate them. Train someone to handle these routine tasks so you can focus on what's new and challenging.
When The Deadlines Are Lenient
When there's breathing room, use it as an opportunity to delegate. It's a great time for learning and growth, both for you and your team.
The What – 5 Tasks That Should Be Delegated
Delegating the right tasks is crucial. It's not about dumping unwanted chores on others; it's about strategic task allocation for the betterment of the team and the project. Here are five types of tasks that are prime candidates for delegation. It’s about finding that sweet spot where delegation meets efficiency.
These are the repetitive, low-impact tasks that eat up your time. Delegate them to free up space for more important duties. It's a great way to increase efficiency in the team.
Identify tasks that don’t directly contribute to your primary goals. These could be administrative tasks or other non-essential activities. Assign them to team members who can handle them while you focus on higher-impact work.
The small, often overlooked tasks can be perfect for delegation. They might be minor, but when accumulated, they take up a significant portion of your time. Delegating these can help streamline your workflow.
(The Ones You’re) Terrible (At)
Be honest about your weaknesses and delegate tasks where others have stronger skills. This not only ensures better outcomes but also helps team members to shine in their areas of expertise.
Choose tasks that are easy to teach and don’t require extensive training. This ensures a smooth transition and is an excellent opportunity for junior team members to learn and grow.
The How – 10 Ways To Effectively Delegate As a Manager
Delegation is more than just handing off tasks; it's an art form. It requires thought, strategy, and a bit of finesse. Let's break down the ten commandments of delegation. These are not just tips; they're your roadmap to becoming a delegation guru.
Set Clear Goals
Alright, setting goals isn't just about saying, "do this, do that". It’s about painting a clear picture of what success looks like. You’ve got to be specific – like, really specific. Think of it as giving a GPS location rather than just saying, “go north”.
Now, don’t just toss tasks at your team like a hot potato. Tell them why they’re doing it. It's like showing them the cover of the puzzle box. They need to see the big picture. This way, they don't just feel like they're ticking boxes; they feel part of something bigger.
Choose The Right Person For The Job
This is key. Don’t just delegate to anyone. Match the task to the skill. It’s like casting for a movie – you wouldn’t cast a comedian in a horror film, right? The same goes here. Get the right person for the right role.
Feedback Is King
Give feedback – and lots of it. Think of it like a coach yelling from the sidelines. Your team needs to know what they’re doing right and where they need to improve. But keep it constructive, folks. No one likes a yelling boss.
Resources and Training Are Queen
Make sure your team has everything they need to succeed. It’s like sending them into battle. You wouldn’t send your troops without weapons, would you? Equip them with the right tools and knowledge.
Gratitude, folks. It’s a powerful thing. A simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way. It’s like giving a high five. It boosts morale and shows appreciation for their hard work.
Hold The Team Accountable
Set clear expectations and hold your team accountable. It’s like setting rules for a game. Everyone needs to know the rules and what happens if they don’t play by them. Fair is fair.
Reward The Team (and Yourself)
When the team does well, celebrate! Throw a metaphorical party. It’s like giving a pat on the back or a gold star. Rewards motivate people. And hey, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back, too.
Clear communication is non-negotiable. It’s like being a good narrator in a movie. Keep everyone in the loop, update them regularly, and make sure they understand what’s going on.
Don’t Worry About It
Once you delegate, don’t micromanage. It’s like planting a seed. You don’t keep digging it up to see if it’s growing. Trust your team and let them do their thing.
R.I.D.E. The Wave and Delegate Like a King
And, just like that, you might be ready to delegate. Delegate like a king or a queen. Yet, things aren’t so simple. Delegation is a skill and one that you’ll need to constantly train to find the best person for the job. And finding the best time to do so before you actually burn out. Don’t worry, though; we’re always by your side.
At Wave AI, we help managers and leaders like you find the issues that they’re dealing with through Reflection. Once they Identify their triggers, we assist them in Doing things that matter. In this case, effective delegation. And once they’ve settled with that, it’s time to Elevate and ride the Wave again and again!
Interested in starting working on your goals? Book your first session now.
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