One of the best ways to build your career confidence is to delegate with confidence. It’s good for your career prospects because it demonstrates you have leadership potential when you and your team get better results because you get more done more effectively.
However what I notice in the conversations I often have with ambitious women, is that when you get your first leadership role or start working with an assistant, delegation can be a challenge. We find ourselves too controlling or too hesitant when what we really want is somewhere in the middle, to be assertive not aggressive.
Here then are some of my top tips on how to delegate effectively to your team.
- Decide what to delegate.
What are you spending time on that somebody else could do more easily, more quickly or more cost effectively? What are you doing that’s stopping you from using your specialist skills?
- Select the right people.
Identify the skills needed and delegate to somebody with the right skills and experience for the job. If you want the budget figures to be finalised, don’t ask the person who hates Excel.
- Don’t apologise for delegating.
There’s no need to apologise for delegating to somebody who has more time or the right skillset or the appropriate level of experience for the job. As I shared in last week’s post, it’s about watching your language so that you don’t keep saying ‘sorry’ or ‘just’ or ‘would you mind if’.
- Be clear in your communication.
Open and clear communication is absolutely essential to get the best results when you delegate. Be clear on the outcomes you expect – i.e. what you want and when you want it.
Give yourself enough time to review if you are going to be forwarding the report or presentation to somebody else.
- Focus on the outcome not the method.
We are all individual so accept that the person you delegate to may use a different method for the same result. That doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong, just different. As long as you’re clear about the outcomes you want.
- Delegate don’t abdicate.
You might delegate the task but that doesn’t mean you can abdicate the responsibility. Be available for queries or clarification, especially if this is the first you’ve worked together or delegated to that individual.
- Be patient and understanding.
When you delegate, it might seem at first that it’s quicker to do it yourself. Accept that it may take longer at the start. Be patient and this will get easier and quicker as you learn how best to work with each other.
I’d love to hear what’s worked for you when it comes to delegating to your team.
p.s. if you know you could do with some help to delegate more effectively, but you’re don’t feel you need a full-blow leadership development programme, how about a Career Power Hour? Sixty minutes of dedicated one-to-one time to focus on a specific challenge. Find out more here.