Delegation is one of the most important skills a leader can have. When done correctly, delegation can help you to focus on key tasks and goals while also giving your team members the opportunity learn new skills and grow in their careers. However, it can be difficult to master this skill. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to improve your delegation skills and become a better leader in the process.
Today’s infographic was put together by OnDeck. OnDeck Capital is an online small business lending company in the United States. As businesses grow, it is imperative for founders and managers to delegate important tasks and decisions. But the truth is delegation can be one of the toughest things to put into practice. That’s why we’ve collected the best advice from successful business leaders on how to delegate effectively.
BEFORE DELEGATING: HOW TO DECIDE WHAT YOU SHOULD DELEGATE
There are many benefits of delegation. It improves productivity and time management, develops trust and communication, and gives others a chance to learn. But deciding which tasks you should delegate can be a lot trickier than it seems, especially if the job is difficult to master, high-risk or time-sensitive. Our shared delegation tips do not overcome this challenge of decision for you.
The question I ask myself almost every day is,
“Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?” – Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of META
Why it works: Zeroing your focus on your top responsibility or priority allows you to make a difference, collaborate successfully, and use your time more effectively.
Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do?
Why it works: Knowing when to stop owning a task or responsibility is an important quality to have as a leader to ensure you’re focusing on the big picture of the organization.
As soon as you can afford to delegate what you don’t like to do, do it. If somebody can do something 80 percent as good as you think you would have done it yourself, then you’ve got to let it go?
Why it works: By doing this, you will reframe delegation so that it’s less about getting rid of tasks from your to-do list and more about supporting you in doing what you love and are great at doing.
DURING DELEGATION: HOW TO DELEGATE TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES EFFECTIVELY
Everyone on your team has their own strengths and weaknesses — including you. When skills are utilized through delegation, this can improve efficiency and
boost team morale. But when tasks are offloaded last minute or without clear instructions, this can have the opposite effect. Consider our delegation tips carefully to be implemented and not in a rush. Start small and grow big.
Be stubborn on vision but flexible on details.
Why it works: Micromanagement kills creativity, breeds mistrust, causes undue stress, and demoralizes your team. Setting clear expectations, communicating goals clearly, and offering feedback to help align outputs to your overarching vision will put everyone on the same page.
When you give your team the space they need, they find creative ways of reaching their goals. It can open up new approaches and new solutions to your business goals.
Why it works: Setting the groundwork and planning for delegation will help to keep focused on the task at hand while leaving room for creativity and new ways of thinking.
You have to be open-minded. Somebody could do it differently and still do it well. You can’t have this bias that they need to do things the same way.
Why it works: Once the team member you’ve delegated to is trained and briefed, you need to back away and trust they can succeed — even if they approach and complete the task differently.
AFTER DELEGATION: WHAT TO DO AFTER DELEGATING TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
It’s important to remember that even after a task has left your to-do list, it’s still within your authority to care how it turns out. Encouraging questions, offering feedback, and giving praise will help to show that you have trust in your team and are willing to empower them to try new things.
Have patience. Even if it takes someone else much more time than you to complete a task, it’s essential to be patient and let them do it because it’s the most effective way for them to learn.
Why it works: Giving someone time to complete the task at hand will mean they do it as well as possible, in a way that suits them.
Carla Williams Johnson
Encourage feedback. Let your team know that they’re doing a great job or if there’s room for improvement. Also, allow them to open up to you if they feel stuck and need assistance.
Why it works: Giving feedback will help to invest in the employees you are delegating to. Each time they complete a task, they will have a better understanding of the next one.
Have an open-door policy. It’s essential to be open to your team member’s suggestions, concerns, and feedback.
Why it works: This will ensure important information will reach you so you can make necessary improvements and tackle every problem alongside your team.
Empower them to own the job. We don’t use the word ’employees’, we use the word ‘collaborators.’ We make sure everyone is aware of their contributions to the big picture and that the end product is our collective responsibility.
Why it works: Having the team feel more ownership of their job will mean they take more responsibility and hold themselves to a higher standard.
Many people overlook the soft skills that set the most successful CEOs and business leaders apart from their competitors. Scaling any organization means important tasks have to be delegated to the right people and managing this effectively as a leader is key. The delegation tips we shared today are working well for others, so give it a shot and try them out. Even if some of them might cost you to rethink the way you do things.
These tips from famous bosses should help anyone better understand what it takes to shift responsibility onto others and empower them to deliver what the business needs.