You’re the manager. The buck stops with you. But that doesn’t mean you have to be the one to do it all.
England’s cricket captain, Andrew Strauss, in their glorious Ashes performance in Australia (OK, I just had to get that one in!) was very quick to place the reason for the team’s success on the quality of his team. It wasn’t a one-man-band, by any stretch of the imagination. When one man failed, another stood up to take the helm.
And when it comes to delegating responsibility, that’s the attitude we need to take. Management is a team game and if you don’t rely on team-members to get things done, what’s the point in having a team in the first place?
Here are some tips about how to approach the business of delegating that will save your time and get you the help you need:
* Ask for help, don’t demand that they do the task. It will create a better frame of mind in the person being delegated to
* Make sure the person has a clear picture of the purpose of any delegated work and knows what kind of results you expect. Take the time to talk it through, explaining specifically what you’re looking for.
* Give the person all the information and other resources they’ll need to complete the project.
* Set a realistic deadline that’s agreeable and workable for both of you.
* Keep yourself available for questions, and when necessary ask for periodic progress reports.
* Don’t assume a person will be able to complete a delegated task without any additional help or assistance from you.
* Give the person the opportunity to be use their creativity and imagination and take the initiative.
* Keep track of the delegated work, creating deadlines and milestones so you both can keep up to date
* When the project has been completed, give lots of praise and credit for a job well done.
Delegating effectively should produce dual results: The job is completed on time by a person whose skills have been developed and improved, and you have had some time to get on with work that only you can do, to the betterment of all involved.
Delegating is a skill you should learn to develop effectively. If you do, like Andrew Strauss, you will reap the rewards of a great team effort.
Originally published: 7 January, 2011
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