Hope my article finds you well!
For the last couple of months, I have been pondering on what qualities are responsible for the success in high achievers. Recently I have been looking into time management. We all have 24 hrs in a day so it makes logical sense that people of high success must be either sleeping less or making the most out of their time. During this research I was also given a task by a peer. The first thing I did after analysing it was to delegate it to someone else with better knowledge than me on the subject. I then looked after the logistics. Suddenly it hit me on the head like a hammer on a perfectly placed nail! The light bulb was on! I had the answer I was looking for just under my nose – Delegation!
Has this ever happen to you ? You look so hard for something, time passes … hours turn into days and you still can’t see what is right there under your nose!?
It is a frustrating experience, isn’t it? Some of you might agree with me.
This article has the aim to provide some practical tips on how we can delegate to not only free up more of our time but to also do it in an effective way. We need to ensure that our expectations are met and successful results are achieved at all times.
Here are 5 steps to delegating and supervising that I have used with great success for many years.
Step 1: Clarity of results
You need to become perfectly clear about the results that you desire from the job. The greater clarity you have with regards to the results expected, the easier it is for you to select the right person for the job. Is sounds easy and simple, may be too easy? That’s just it. It’s so easy that most people forget the basics. Let’s think about this in terms of employing someone, you need to select the right person for the job. As a result you need to be perfectly clear about what the job entails, i.e. a job description with the desired results to be achieved.
Step 2: Desired Skills and Ability Demonstrated
You need to select a person based on his or her demonstrated ability or success at doing the requested job. Never delegate an important job to a person who has never done it before. If the successful completion of the task is important to the success of your business, it is essential that you delegate it to someone who you confidently believe can complete the task to a satisfactory level. Going back to the recruitment of the right person, would you really want to recruit someone for the job they have no experience in? Obviously, you wouldn’t. It works the same for delegation.
Step 3: Clear communication of the task and the desired results
You need to explain to the person exactly what you want done, the results that you expect, the time schedule that you require, and your preferred method of working. The reason that you are in a position to delegate a task is because you have acknowledge that the person has more experience and knowledge than you and most probably more time than you do. Taking the time to explain the task and desired result is the best way to ensure that it will be done to your level of expectation and completed on schedule. Communication is very important if you want to ensure that misunderstandings are kept to the minimum. This will also guarantee the best results.
Step 4: Monitor Progress
You need to set up a schedule for reporting on progress. If it is an important task, set up a deadline for completion that is a day or a week before your actual deadline. Do not leave anything to chance. Always build some slack into the system. Then, check on the progress of the task regularly, very much like a doctor would check on the condition of a critical care patient. This is one of the most important steps to ensure that the task has been fulfilled according to our expectation and deadline. Therefore take time to ensure that you monitor the progress of the task with the person you assign it with to guarantee the desired results.
Step 5: Accountability
You need to inspect what you expect. Delegation is not abdication. Just because you have assigned a task to another person does not mean that you are no longer accountable. In addition to this the more important the task, the more essential it is that you keep on top of it. So even if you have delegated the task to someone else, you are still accountable for the results and for the fulfilment of the task.
Now that you have read this, you have realised that planning, selection, monitoring and accountability are the keys to effective delegation. As such, ensure that every step discussed in this chapter is accurately planned by yourself to avoid disappointment to both parties.
Please answer the following questions to move forward to becoming a more effective delegator!
|Exercise: 5 Steps to effective Delegation|
|Answer the following questions:|
1. Which of the 5 steps will you firstly address to become an effective delegator?
2. What task can you effectively delegate to someone else now?
3. Which one of your employees/acquaintances/friends can handle the task more efficiently?
4. How are you measuring your progress in achieving your goal as a delegator?
I hope you now have discovered your strengths in delegation and also developed self-awareness for the best people to delegate tasks to!
Experience Tip 1: If you found synergy with certain people who have consistently delivered, keep a record in a notebook. Write down the person’s name and the task that they delivered, this will make delegation a more efficient process in the future!
Experience Tip 2: Don’t feel guilty about delegating tasks to people. You will soon find that you end up with a much greater capacity to give back. Likewise be happy to help other people out unconditionally. You will see the rewards pouring back to you, it’s quite remarkable!
Remember that no one is perfect so don’t feel that you have to get this right the first time. You might have made a mess of it this time round and immediately thought that it would be easier and faster to do it yourself! I had the same thoughts and I was wrong! It will take time to be an effective delegator but it will be well worth it, believe me! I took years to understand the power of delegation and the steps to be an effective delegator. Now I am enjoying the delegation process. Something surprising I found by learning to be a great delegator is that we are surrounded by so many talented people who are looking forward to putting their skills to good uses and causes!
To your effective delegation journey!