By: Anja Uitdehaag
Sometimes I really believe that if I want something done right, I must do it myself.
Do you recognize this?
As women, we’re not naturals at delegating.
For many women, “delegating” equals asking for help because we are not able to do something, when for most men it means a sign of leadership.
Most of us, still feel this need to show that we are able to do everything ourselves to avoid being perceived as weak.
Furthermore, we tend to slip into the responsibility mode all too easily.
No one, however, can do everything, and to attempt to do so usually results in incomplete tasks or poor execution (there are only so many hours in a day…)
Successful women do not do it all themselves, they learn to delegate.
Delegating to others is not only helpful, it’s crucial to your success. As you advance in your career and begin taking on larger and larger projects, you won’t be able to juggle all of your responsibilities and keep up with a high standard of work, too.
Sharing tasks allows you to focus on the things that you need and want to do, rather than extra work that just needs to get done.
When done properly, delegation allows you to make the best use of your time and skills, and it helps other people in the team grow and develop to reach their full potential in the organisation.
I like the following definition:
“Delegation is assigning responsibility and authority to someone in order to complete a clearly defined and agreed upon task while you retain ultimate responsibility for its success.”
When you delegate it is important to use the following steps:
STEP 1: Clarify expectations by sharing exactly who, what, when, where, and how you would like something to be done. Clear and precise expectations will eliminate assumptions and misunderstandings;
STEP 2: Ask questions to make sure the team member understands your expectations;
STEP 3: If it will take more than two steps, write them down in bullet points. Often times the team member will stop listening after a couple of steps because they start thinking about how they will accomplish the task or how they will work it into their day;
STEP 4: If it is a large project, schedule a check-in time(s) for the person to keep you updated on his or her progress. This will also enable you to give the person ongoing support and answer any questions that may arise;
STEP 5: Establish and agree on a realistic goal date to complete the task, and schedule a final check-in and update that the task has been completed;
STEP 6: Show your appreciation by thanking the person for a job well done!
Let me summarise with some Key Takeaways:
- Delegating is part of a manager’s job. You can’t do it all;
- Surrounding yourself with good people makes delegating work easier;
- Understanding the skills and motivation levels of your team helps you decide how to manage the delegation of tasks;
- You should always follow up so that no work is overlooked.
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