Learn how to stop delegating work and start teaching
Delegation is an important skill, by mastering which, you can maximize your productivity and work efficiently during tight deadlines and large workloads. However, not every leader can delegate responsibilities, and this is evident from polls wherein out of every 10 people only 3 identify themselves as expert delegators.
The hardest part of delegating work to someone is to trust that they will execute it with similar efficiency and effectiveness. It is this lack of trust, that prevents many leaders from delegating. However, there is an inherent lacuna in this approach.
By showing reluctance in delegating, the leader fails to train others and in turn sets them up for failure when externalities force him to delegate. This is how you can avoid this pitfall and be better in the art of delegating.
It is important for the leader to slowly evolve into the role of a trainer from being a doer. There needs to be a transition of your focus from daily tasks to matters of strategic importance.
Fears and questions like “Will I be seen as less vital once I delegate?”, “What will happen if I let go?”, “No one can do it like me”, can arise as you think of delegating. However, as a leader, your primary focus should be on the success of the people and this can only happen when you learn to let go.
Whether you’re on the field as a player or in a business scenario, the key to success is to start slow. Your task as the leader is to identify skill deficiencies in new talents and make them take up small assignments through which you can learn those skills.
Before handing over a task, you can make them shadow you and learn the nitty-gritty of things. For instance, you might want to teach someone the way to conduct a meeting. You can start by letting them watch as you go through the entire process starting from agenda formulation to noting the minutes.
This can be followed by giving them a chance to follow the steps while you critique them so as to make them better. This way you ensure that they are ready to take up the task when you are occupied elsewhere.
Don’t let failures deter you
Once you have delegated tasks to someone, it is important to follow up at regular intervals. You need to teach them not only how to do a task but also why the task is done that way. Upon committing a mistake in execution, instead of withdrawing them, you should call them for fixing the same.
This way, mistakes and failures would turn out to be learning opportunities for you and your apprentice.
As you continue to grow, you will be able to shift your focus from projects to people and priorities. Your efficiency in delegation would help the organization in making its transition from good to great. You can also hire the services of a consultant to help you become a great leader.