Being able to delegate efficiently is not just a key part of successful leadership, it is also essential to maintaining your own personal wellbeing as you get promoted.
To maximize your productivity and avoid overload, it is essential to understand the best methods to delegate tasks. While it may be challenging to relinquish control to other team members, it’s the only option if you want to evolve from implementor to leader.
1. Let Things Go
If you are new to leadership, you may find it hard to let go of some of your responsibilities. This can stem from the fact that you are scared no one can else can do what you do correctly or that no one has the time to help you. Yet, that is furthest from the truth. Your team wants everyone to succeed, that includes you. Having that kind of mindset will limit you as a leader and can restrict the potential of your employees.
Let go of this need to be in control of everything. As a leader, you need to become comfortable with accepting help and learn to trust your team to deliver and to come to you with issues when they need help. This will help you grow and will also let your team members work on their skills and abilities.
Start to do this by letting other people complete small tasks. This will increase your comfort level of permitting others to help you. When you become more comfortable with this, you can then start letting other people complete larger projects without constant supervision.
As you go through this experience it can help to work with a coach or mentor or a trusted friend to talk about the feelings it creates. Letting go can be challenging and having a safe space to explore this can be really important to maintaining your wellbeing and working through issues as they arise.
2. Prioritize Everything
Leaders should always tackle the highest priority tasks before going on to less critical items. As a leader, you will learn what tasks need the most attention over which ones can be given away, it’s also important to think through what tasks require your specific skills and input as opposed to those that others in the team are better placed to sort out. Put together a priority system and sort each project by the amount of effort and type of skill required to complete it.
This process will make it easier to determine what projects you should hold onto and ones that you should let your team members handle. Learn each of your team member’s strengths so that you can better assign tasks. For example, if you are dealing with a technology issue and you know you aren’t well suited for it, but a member of your team is, give them the task to complete. You won’t end up wasting your valuable time trying to figure out the problem and they will be able to exercise their abilities. You can also think about specific development projects for staff which will help them grow and expand their skills.
3. Include Thorough Instructions
While delegating in itself isn’t difficult, it isn’t always easy to effectively communicate exactly what is needed to complete a certain task. For this reason, leaders should include thorough instructions along with every project that they delegate. With straightforward instructions, there is less of a chance for error.
It’s also important to touch base with your team and agree with them reporting milestones and landmarks, so it’s not just a headline delegation but there is a clear understanding of expectations.
Delegation goes hand in hand with being an open and approachable leader, the trust of delegation works in both directions and it is essential that your team are able to come to you when they are struggling with delegated tasks.
Delegation is an essential part of any successful business but for most of us it isn’t a habit that comes easily or naturally. Being conscious about delegation and the impact on yourself and your team is an important part of leading your team to success.