Delegation can be hard for a manager, especially those new to the role. When your main focus has been on adding value through your technical value-add, moving towards a management role where you need to focus on other tasks learning to delegate becomes an important task to master. Learning to delegate means learning to let go.
By letting go, you are now free to do these new tasks that your role demands.
Delegation involves coaching, feedback, tracking to maintaining progress, communicating and asking questions. The aim is to build the capacity in others so that you can free your time on being a manager.
To delegate effectively:
- Define the scope
- The purpose, the big picture, stakeholder expectations, timelines and any shaping constraints
- Do not fall into the trap of telling them how to do it; ask them for their ideas and approaches. Encourage them to learn, try, experiment where possible. Your role is there to support, coach and advise on the journey they take.
- Select the individual / team
- Play to the strengths of the individual or team. Assess the risks involved. If the task is of high risk, this may not be the time to delegate. Be aware of the demotivating impact of always delegating the same task to the same person. Develops the hamster wheel effect.
- Regular progress updates
- You want to make sure that they are on rack and progress can be a mixture of formal and informal reviews. Informal meetings can be powerful as they show openness; the meeting is seen as an opportunity and not as a threat
Delegating is not easy. The first time is difficult. But like most activities, the more you practise, the easier it becomes.