Doesn’t my picture look professional? Hair all lined up fresh from the barber salon. Professional. Sporting a tie. Professional. Handling the mic like a wanna-be Simon Sinek. Professional. But there is one skill I employ every time I can that is really the key to working like a professional.
What is that skill?
Sometimes it is necessary to offload some of your tasks to others if you want to get more done. Enter the art of delegation.
You might be thinking, “This article is a waste of time! I don’t have anyone to delegate to.” Wrong! Delegation is not only to subordinates. Team members can delegate tasks to each other based on their individual strengths and skills. So read on.
It’s a skill that you need to master throughout your life both on professional and personal levels. Although delegating work to others can free up your time, it can be a recipe for disaster if you don’t get it right.
This goes back to your fears of delegating a task. You may think that you will lose control or that it is will not be carried out up to your standards. Here is a list of common fears as to why people do not delegate appropriately:
There are two types of delegations:
Precise Delegation – This is when you formulate a task in great detail and you regularly check in on the progress of the task.
Example: “Go to the electronics store. Buy an HP-X11 printer. Come back and set it up in the office. Install the software. Go to properties and press Test Print. See if it can successfully print in black and white and in color.”
Capability delegation – With this type you give the whole task to someone expecting them to explore around the topic, find solutions, and deliver the results.
Example: “We need a new printer. I had a look around and HP-X11 seems to be good. We might as well get a good color printer. Have a look to see what you think. We need to have the printer ready in two days to use for report delivery to a customer. Call me if you need anything or have any questions.”
Delegation Check List
You may adjust the amount of information depending on the delegation type and the details you provide. However, the process is the same for both types as shown below.
WHEN DELEGATING , REMEMBER TO:
- Check in to monitor progress. It’s more critical to check in earlier than later so you can guide it in case it has gone off the right path.
- Don’t check on them too much
- Make eye contact
- Encourage questions
- Setup standards of performance and accountability and explain how results are evaluated
- Explain consequences (good and bad) as a result of the evaluation
- Don’t delegate only the boring stuff
- Avoid unnecessary jargon or technical terms
- Organize your thoughts before you deliver the delegation
- Take advantage of multiple brains. Be open to new ideas.
- Don’t forget to describe the objective and put the task into context
- Don’t delegate and forget
- Make sure that the support staff are notified appropriately
- Don’t forget to praise or suggest improvements