Most of us have at some stage worked under a micromanager, and know just how annoying it can be not to be trusted to think for yourself or take responsibility. So why do some of us become micromanagers when we have staff under us? We take care to appoint the best employees, we train them at considerable cost, and then we make sure that we still control every single aspect and detail of their jobs. Little wonder that we do not feel productive!
An important part of becoming organized and managing your time efficiently is knowing when, to whom and how to delegate tasks.
Why is it important to delegate?
Your time is valuable and should be used for those tasks that will give you the highest return on time investment, i.e. that will optimize your productivity.
At the same time, when you are leading a team there are benefits for the rest of the team in delegating tasks to them:
- Team members will develop new skills and gain experience
- You are showing your team members that you value them
- Team members will feel more empowered
- Team members become more involved in their work
- You have an opportunity to leverage the specific strengths of members of your team
What prevents people from delegating?
The most common reason why people fail to delegate is that they think they can do the job quicker or better themselves. This essentially means that they do not trust others to do the job. It may well be that people fail to meet your standards when you first delegate a task to them, but this is precisely when you need to persist and give them the opportunity to learn and grow. People will usually surprise you by rising to the challenge that you present to them.
There are other reasons as well why team leaders do not delegate tasks:
- People may hold onto a task that they enjoy doing, when others could perform the task just as well. Remember that it may be just as gratifying to mentor someone else to do a job as well as you.
- Team leaders sometimes make the mistake of thinking that delegating will be perceived as an inability to do a job yourself, as passing the buck. This is especially true of insecure managers. However, delegating is perceived by others as beinga strength, not a weakness.
How to delegate effectively?
Delegating does not mean telling an employee what to do; it means handing responsibility to an employee to make decisions for him- or herself. One of the biggest mistakes in delegating is to delegate the task but not the responsibility. Team members need to take ownership of the task that has been delegated to them. It is important that others also know that you have given a person or persons the authority to do a job.
Make sure the team members to whom you delegate a task have the resources to do the job, including equipment, financial resources and information – often this last factor is overlooked, but it is crucial in their ability to succeed.
Once you have decided what to delegate and selected the persons to whom you will delegate, keep track of tasks by setting objectives and milestones, monitoring and reviewing objectives, and giving feedback. Breaking a task down into milestones will help to keep team members on track and ensure that a project does not venture too far off course without your knowledge.
Do not allow people to bring the job you have delegated back to you, even if they take a little longer than you would have done. Give them the opportunity to learn from the experience.
Effectively delegating to your employees will transform them and integrate them into the team, while enabling you to be more organized, productive and fulfilled.
If need some clarity regarding the best use of your time and how to prioritise your task and projects that will skyrocket your personal and business productivity, then take action NOW! Contact Wendy on 0407 967715 Email; firstname.lastname@example.org
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