How to delegate effectively

in Proof of Brain2 months ago

Leader of the team

The other day I wrote about The curse of being competent and one of the key issues raised was that people find it hard to delegate. Some commented on my post, like @victoria95, who said it is hard to let go and delegate.

It is hard. Not only that, it is a vital skill for anyone who wants to develop as a leader or grow a team. It is true in business, sport and elsewhere. So here are my tips on delegation.

Clarify your intention

You may think "if you want something done properly, do it yourself" but as we discussed in the previous article, that is not sustainable. You are not the only person who can achieve in life. If others aren't at your level, you can help develop them.

What's our intention? You aren't delegating because you want them to fail. No, quite the opposite, you want them to be successful. As a team, we work together to achieve success and you delegating tasks in the right way will allow higher achievement.

For the strength of the pack is the wolf,
and the strength of the wolf is the pack

Rudyard Kipling

Working together, in synergy, will allow you to achieve so much more. The first step is for you to learn to delegate tasks out so that you can work together effectively as a team.

Clarify the objective

People don't like to be micromanaged. They want to understand what needs to be done, and even more importantly, why it needs to be done. Just as Simon Sinek says in his book "Start with why?". Set out the vision, what you need to be done and why it is important. If you can sell the idea, the team will get behind it and deliver. People need a purpose.

My army won because they knew what they were fighting for

Oliver Cromwell

Trust people

Trust is perhaps the most important ingredient when building a team and when delegating out tasks.

When people don't feel trusted, they start feeling suspicious. "Why do they want me to do this stupid thing anyway?" They become suspicious of the motive. They also fear failure more because they feel that you are already out to get them.

Conversely, when we trust someone to do a job. They start to feel a sense of pride, the feel empowered. They are much more likely to put their heart into it. As a leader, letting go and taking the risk to trust others is not easy, but it is the only way to thrive as a leader and grow a competent team. You have to take that first step.

Leaders take the risk to trust first.

Simon Sinek

Clarify expectations

You need to let your team know what good looks like. Be clear on your expectations. When things go wrong it is quite often down the parameters weren't clear in the first place.

Don't give long wordy narratives as to what you want. You need to be concise and to the point. Don't use flowery vague language. If it is difficult to understand what you want, then probably your team won't understand. Remember that they need to remember exactly what you want. So be brief. That is why they call it a team briefing!

Give honest feedback

Giving feedback is also not easy but your team will want to know if they are doing a good job or not. You need to give both positive feedback when they do well, and re-establish those expectations when they aren't doing things right. Don't just let them blunder on doing the wrong things. Eventually, it will break their trust and they will feel disillusioned. They then can't deliver to the standards you are hoping for.

There is an art to giving feedback, perhaps a topic for another day.

So - got out there and delegate!!


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It is important to see the sort of business soft skills and leadership traits that you're discussing here applied to all aspects of life. On of the key thing I think for any leader is to know your own limitations (time constraints, ability etc.) and be able to identify in other where effective delegation actually benefits the team more. Indeed, we often fall into the trap of thinking we'd be better if we did something ourselves but in doing so we take away the opportunity for other to develop and create less team cohesion and trust as a result.

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I agree, we all have limitations and often we cannot achieve all the things on our plate to deliver. Letting go of some of those things isn't easy but we have to help raise the level of others and eventually, that will help us too.

Cheers !wine

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Hi @awah,
Thank you for participating in the #teamuk curated tag. We have upvoted your quality content.
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Really well laid out steps to delegation @awah. You hit on something that for me is extremely important and which is overlooked by many managers, although leaders seem to get this point well😊 And that is the WHY! If I understand why I am doing something, what value I am adding through my input and how it fits in with the organisation's objectives and goals, and even simply with the immediate task at hand, it helps me no end in taking on the task and doing a good job. Knowing the WHY helps with the buy-in, and the commitment. If people understand the end goal, the steps to achieving it become more readily understandable and are less likely to be skipped via shortcuts.

Hey @samsmith1971 - Thanks for your comment 😊

Starting with why is so important. We are inspired by a good vision that we can buy into. So you make a good point if we can tell our teams why something needs to be done, and they can buy into the why then they will do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Have a great evening and enjoy it with some !wine from me


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