Why Can’t Leaders Delegate?
One of the most troubling things for most leaders is that they don’t trust others with top-level responsibilities. Do you think any of these thoughts?
- It would be better for me to do the work myself than to show my team what to do.
- After being promoted recently, I’m struggling. I’m not sure how to spend less time doing and more time delegating.
- Since I’ve been doing this task for years, I don’t think my team will complete the task the right way.
- I don’t want to burden my team with more work.
- In my leadership position, I don’t like to appear vulnerable by asking for help.
- I fear losing control of tasks and projects.
- Defining myself is important. What’s my worth then if I can’t do all the work myself?
Trying to do it all yourself is draining. The more you delegate tasks, the less you’ll be tied to them over time, letting you concentrate on the most important parts of your position as a leader.
Delegating Tasks Successfully: A Step-by-Step Guide
1.Make a list of the tasks you can give to your team
Delegation can daunt anyone, especially when you’re new to it. Not everything can be delegated, such as performance reviews and hiring decisions.
Career and business strategist, Jenny Blake, suggests doing a task audit to list the tasks you can delegate to others per the following rules:
- Tiny tasks—Minor tasks that add up such as scheduling meetings.
- Tedious tasks—Tasks that are easy to finish and need little skill.
- Time-consuming tasks—More complex tasks like research that require some oversight but take up too much time.
- Teachable tasks—Tasks that anyone can learn from you so long as they don’t need the skills only you know.
- Terrible-at tasks—Tasks you have trouble with and can be assigned to team members who are better qualified to do the tasks.
- Time-sensitive tasks—If you have a lot to do, delegate some tasks of a time-sensitive project to other members of your team.
2.Choose the right person for a task
A leader needs a strong understanding of their team members’ skills, strengths, and weaknesses so they can recognize who is a good fit for the job.
The best way to build trust is to let team members choose the tasks. Likewise, if team members want to improve certain skills, then let them handle tasks to prove themselves capable.
Also, be mindful of the workload of your team. You don’t want to overwhelm a team member with more tasks when they have so much already to do.
3.Share your reasons with the teammate
You can promote a culture of trust by showing your team you support their professional development. When they know you care about their professional growth, they will see every task you give them as an opportunity to learn new skills and take on extra responsibilities.
4.Define clear objectives and expectations for the project
Provide specific details on what you need and by when. It’s helpful to coordinate project milestones and set due dates with a calendar. If team members are stalling on certain tasks, they can still correct themselves before the final deadline.
5.Offer training and resources as needed
Make sure the team member has what they need to perform the task and let them come up with new ideas and processes when they can. Would they need more training? What other resources can they refer to while working on the task?
Using top-rated project management software such as Asana or Basecamp to provide top-quality collaboration can help team leaders, team members, and even clients. They provide features for managing tasks, tracking results, and making collaboration easier on the team. Delegating tasks efficiently to your team members can be made easier with these features.
6.Check in now and then (but avoid micromanaging!)
Meet regularly to make sure everything is progressing smoothly. Provide positive reinforcement and support as necessary.
This way, you can trust the team member in charge is on task, but you still monitor the overall project. Also, remember that delegating effectively begins with letting go.
7.Give feedback to each other
Let your team member know what went well and what didn’t, and brainstorm how to do better in the future together.
Leaders should provide thoughtful feedback; acknowledge success by showing empathy and point out shortcomings on a task. Ask your team for feedback about your delegation–whether you are assigning the right tasks to the right people and whether you are providing them with enough resources and training.
Be an effective leader in delegation
A leader must master delegation sooner rather than later to maximize their time and energy. You can delegate efficiently, so you can build trust and commitment with your team, increase productivity, and assign tasks to the people with the best abilities.