Delegation is an extremely vital management skill. It can help you maximize your productivity, manage your workload, and motivate your team or employees by making them feel trusted and helping them build their skills. And while it may seem like an easy concept to grasp, a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with implementing it effectively. Therefore, this article should provide you with some steps to help you improve your delegation skills.
1. Get Comfortable With The Idea of Letting Go
Entrepreneurs are passionate people. It's an undeniable fact and it makes sense. The only way that someone can persevere and go through all the obstacles that come with creating something new is if they have enough passion to keep going. And because entrepreneurs are extremely passionate about their work, they can often time struggle with the idea of letting go of some control. So, the first step of effective delegation is to prepare yourself and remind yourself that as much as you may want to, you can't do everything yourself and you shouldn't.
2. Know What To Delegate
Not every task can be delegated. And at the end of the day, what can and can't be delegated highly depends on your type of work and the caliber of your team. But surely, there are tasks that you can recognize that you don't need to be doing yourself. These are things that you definitely should be delegating. If there is a project or task that you think could be useful or could be a teachable one for your team, delegate it. Knowing what to delegate also depends very much on how well you know your team. If you are aware of their strengths and goals, you can be sure to play to them.
3. Set Clear Expectations
Setting clear expectations is often a step that managers fail or forget to do. And it can end up being the step that makes or breaks your attempt at delegation. When you hand off a project or task to someone you need to make sure that they understand what it is you want them to accomplish. The task should come with context and a proper explanation tying it to your organizational goals. They need to understand what a successful end result looks like to you and when they need to have this end result by. Furthermore, if the task or project that you are delegating is a long-term one, make sure to set a series of goals or checkpoints so that the person who delegating to knows that they are on the right track.
4. Set Up a Clear Communication Channel
You want to make sure that the person you're delegating to feels comfortable asking questions, seeking support, and reporting back to you. There are different ways that this can be done, but one helpful way could be establishing regular check-ins to give feedback and make sure that everything is going according to plan.
5. Avoid Micromanagement
Steps 3 and 4 are crucial to help you avoid one of the biggest traps that you do not want to fall into. Micromanagement is possibly one of the easiest ways to kill your attempt at successful delegation. And yet, it is an extremely easy trap to fall into because of one’s (understandable) need to be aware and in control of every small detail of their business. Once you've delegated a task, set clear expectations, and established a clear communication channel, take a step back. Micromanaging will only add more to your plate (making the delegation process counterproductive) and frustrate your team/employees. So, make sure to be evaluating your behavior and making sure that you're not crossing the line between monitoring and supporting your team and micromanaging them.
6. Check-In After Completion
When a delegated task has been completed it's important to touch base with the person who you had delegated to. Give any feedback that is needed and if the task was done successfully, it's also important to recognize this achievement and the good work that was put in.
At the end of the day, it may seem like a lot of steps and it may be an intimidating idea to let go of some control and trust other people to take some work off your plate and do it themselves. However, delegation can be extremely crucial in helping you succeed and with some practice, you will be able to hone and improve your skills of delegation.