Delegation - letting go without losing control
Congratulations. Let’s assume you’ve just been promoted to a position of management and a colleague has said that they can gift you a specific skill. Wow. You could choose to become more strategic, you could become more efficient, you may plan better or become a better delegator. Whilst all those skills are important one stands out far above the others on your journey into management. Yes, it’s delegation.
As Simon Sinek suggests; ‘let’s start with why’. Why is delegation the critical management tool?
Everyone agrees that management is about achieving goals through others. It is no longer just about yourself. This is where managers succeed or fail. A manager who doesn’t fully understand that management is about leading a team, however big or small, is not a manager. Yes, you can be a planner, you may be a strategic thinker and you could work very efficiently, but if you’re not delegating to your team then it’s not management.
More than likely, now that you are a manager, your task list has grown. Don’t even try to manage all these tasks by yourself. At the very best, if you succeed, you’ll be overwhelmed. At the worst, some tasks will fall by the wayside. You’re failing. The answer is delegation. (I imagine that the more seasoned managers amongst you, who are reading this blog, recognise this syndrome).
So what is it all about? Successful delegation is where you empower others to do a task which falls under your responsibility which they can do to a sufficiently high standard. That will give you the time in which to review and plan; and when you become a champion delegator, you’ll be able to take yourself out for coffee!
Let’s see how it’s done.
There are five distinct levels of delegation which allow you, as the manager, to maintain control throughout the process. How much control depends on how much you trust your member of staff to carry out a delegated task competently. Regardless of the level at which you delegate, you will always gain time, time to carry out your managerial duties. The delegation process which includes clearly defining the task, allocating resources, agreeing a time-plan, and offering support will help to ensure that the delegated task is completed successfully. Now go have that coffee.
Why not attend our one day Delegation skills course? It’s equally important for those of you who have been in management for a while; but are not great delegators, as it is for those new to management.