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
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
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.
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!!