By Peter Economy
CREDIT: Getty Images
Good communication and listening is really important when it comes to delegating well.
When you are the leader, you may have a strong desire to control of everything — but let’s face it, you can’t and shouldn’t even try to do everything yourself. And it goes without saying that the more your organization expands and your business gets more complex, the more difficult it is for you to stay on top of every single detail. This is why the fine art of delegation can be a life preserver not only to you, but to your business as a whole.
When you delegate, this gives you time to look into new prospects for growth — new products, new customers, new partnerships. You have time to focus on doing the things that only you as the leader can do. This growth also allows you to delegate new tasks to your employees and empower them to learn new things, step up into leadership roles, and master new skills.
Of course, there are right and wrong ways to delegate. Here are 5 of the right ways to delegate:
1. Give employees the authority they need to get the work done.
When you delegate work to your people, you also need to delegate the authority necessary to get the job done. Absent this authority, your employees will have a much harder time doing what you’ve asked, and they become frustrated and resentful that you’ve given them assignments that they cannot reasonably complete.
2. Communicate tasks and responsibilities with great clarity.
Be very clear about both the assignment and the expected outcome — but don’t tell your staff exactly how to do their assigned tasks. Let them figure out the best approach for themselves, which will boost the engagement they feel in their jobs while improving their skills.
3. Make sure your people are on board.
Make sure your employees acknowledge that they understand the assignments you have given them and agree to take on the responsibility for completion. Any questions or concerns must be resolved at the outset, not later. This will help ensure satisfactory results.
4. Ensure that the work is being done properly and on schedule.
When you monitor your team’s work, this allows you to catch problems early. Different employees need different levels of monitoring. An inexperienced employee, for example, will need tight control, while less constraints are appropriate for those who already know the ropes.
5. Provide feedback and make adjustments.
Don’t hesitate to take immediate and decisive corrective action when an assignment goes off track. Do this first through verbal discussion, in-person whenever possible. Agree on a plan to return to targeted goals and explain the consequences for not getting back on track. But if the situation doesn’t quickly improve, you may need to reassign the task to another member of your team.
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