For many of the leaders I work with, delegation is a real struggle. Leaders resist delegating because we are so accustomed to doing the work ourselves. Many times, fear will rear its ugly head, thinking that if we want the work done correctly, we must do it ourselves. And then there is the time issue of communicating and training others to complete the task for us.Ahhh, but the benefits of delegation far outweigh the negativity that surrounds this illusive skill. When we delegate, we have more time for our high-priority tasks and we actually get to experience the joy of completing our tasks! Delegation increases our productivity and is a much better use of our resources.Delegation gives you freedom from chaos and confusion.Since we are not born with the delegation gene, we must learn this skill. It’s not as hard as you think!Just follow these four simple steps and you will be delegating before you know it:
- Explain the need for delegating, including the reasons why you selected that person to complete the task.
- Clearly set the objectives defining responsibility, level of authority, and deadlines.
- Develop a plan to achieve objectives, resources, and give the authority necessary to obtain those resources.
- Establish an accountability plan with checkpoints.
True, there are some tasks best kept to ourselves such as personal matters, confidential activities, crises, and activities that are specifically delegated to us. However, we can delegate paperwork, routine tasks, technical matters, tasks with developmental potential, and employee problems that we do not need to be involved in.Somehow we’ve managed to complicate the idea of holding people accountable, and it is quite simple, really, SIMPLE:
S = Set clear expectations – this is the number one complaint and stressors from employees – that the expectations are vague.I = Invite commitment – some say gain “buy in” but I much prefer to invite commitment. With an invitation, there is a shared sense of ownership.M = Measure progress – Super important to keep up on this. How you will measure is part of the description of setting clear expectations.P = Provide feedback – again, super important. Far too often managers will wait until the project is finished to say that it wasn’t done correctly.L = Link to consequences – consequences are also identified in the setting clear expectations step.E = Evaluate effectiveness – Do this together and it becomes a powerful activity for you and the person who is accountable.
I want to hear from you!What are some techniques you use to hold people accountable and why do you think the strategies are effective?With love,Maria