- To be successful as a manager, you must learn the art of delegating. It really is an art because when done right, it requires some thoughtful analysis and intentional choices on your part. Delegation is a very important interaction that lies at the intersection of three things. The delegator, you. The delegate, the person you're handing a task to and the organization that the interaction is housed within. Delegation is the process of asking another person to do a task, while still maintaining responsibility for that task. It can range from giving someone a simple everyday task to appointing someone as the leader of a complex project.
Appointments can be short-term, from minutes to a couple of weeks or long term, from a few weeks to months. But delegation is not just about handing off tasks. It's actually a great opportunity to further motivate and engage your employees by creating opportunities for their professional development. As the manager, you're in the role of the delegator and you're instrumental in making the process go smoothly. Most people think that there's only one phase. You ask the employee to do a task and they do it. Actually, successful delegation is more complex than that and requires you to be savvy with both project management as well as people skills.
When I consult with organizations, I teach my four-phase model of delegation. The four phases are the evaluation, handover, support, and debrief. The phases are linear. Meaning that you need to complete one before you go on to the next. The first phase is called evaluation. In this phase, you assess aspects of the organization, your workload, and your employees. This will help you determine what can and should be delegated, and to whom various projects should be given.
The goal here is to match up your employee's strength and opportunities for growth with the project that will help them further develop. Unfortunately, evaluation is the phase that most managers skip because they feel pressed for time. This can set up a pattern where managers try to do too many things themselves and then when the workload gets to be too much, dump tasks on others at the last minute. This not only affects the success of the tasks being done well but it can also harm the relationship between the manager and employees. So take the time to do this phase because it will you set you and your team up for success.
The second phase is called the handover. In this phase, the focus is to communicate clear expectations about the goals of the tasks, resources that will be provided, and the timeline. You also determine how much autonomy you're going to give them. A crucial part of this phase is determining and communicating how much freedom you're assigning. Did you know that there's actually eight levels of autonomy? These levels cover who gathers the information, who makes the decision and who takes the action. By far and away, the biggest source of problems in delegation is lack of clarity about which level of autonomy is being given.
The third phase is called support. In this phase, you deliver any resources or support promised in phase two. This includes granting access to authority, providing resources, and coaching your employee as needed. Delivering what you promised builds trust and respect with your employees. Again, contributes to the successful completion of the task. During the support phase, you also monitor the progress of the employee and the ways you agreed upon during the handover. The final phase in the delegation process is called the debrief. This phase occurs once the task is completed.
Thus, ending the delegation. You and the employee meet to discuss the outcome of the task as well as the process of delegation. You discuss things like what issues arose, lessons learned and ideas for improving for the future. If you want to learn more about how to delegate effectively, watch my course called, "Delegating Tasks to Your Team," where I go into more detail about all of the phases. As you delegate more proficiently, your team will become more effective and efficient in completing tasks. You also gain the benefit of moving some things off your plate which frees you up to focus time and energy on the projects that require your knowledge and experience.
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- Choosing a management style
- Hiring employees
- Coaching employees
- Managing team performance
- Establishing trust
- Motivating and engaging others
- Delegating responsibilities
- Avoiding micromanagement
- Managing remote employees
- Knowing HR regulations<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.