THE ART OF DELEGATION
As leaders, handing over assignments to your team can be challenging. It takes trust to keep from micromanaging them once they are in charge of a project. And delegation is not just about completing tasks. A big part of the delegation process is developing future leaders. Allowing people to take charge of small undertakings now gives them the confidence and knowledge to handle bigger things tomorrow. How you handle delegation will significantly affect how your team grows.
You can help your team thrive in delegated assignments by following the tips below.
Set clear expectations and goals
Before handing over the reins, define the project. Let them know what you and other leadership expect for this task. Give a clear outline of desired results. They can only take over for you if they know what you want to be done. Don’t give vague or blurry visions. You set your team up for failure if you are not explicit in what you want them to achieve.
Give authority and resources
Think through the project carefully and determine what your follower needs to accomplish their task. Do you need to give them access to specific locations, files, or information? Do others need to know they are in charge? You can offer support by setting them up for success. Give them the tools and the power to handle things on their own.
Provide feedback and guidance, not instructions
It’s easy to slip into the trap of giving step-by-step instructions on how we would handle the job. Instead, offer to be a sounding board. Give insights on how to accomplish the task or suggestions if asked. Remember, delegation is about relinquishing control. Your team might find faster, cheaper, better ways to do it. Let them try. Of course, you don’t want them to fail, so be ready to help. But give them space to run with the project you entrusted to them.
Cheer them on
Things may go differently than planned. There might be wins or losses. The project may have successes or failures. It is all about the process. The final outcome is about more than just getting an assignment done. Your team’s future may depend on your interactions during their leadership stint. Remember to cheer them on. They will experience setbacks and maybe even a few failures. Help them realize that leadership is a process that takes time, trial, and error. Learning from mistakes and getting back up are crucial lessons. When they succeed, celebrate it. Make sure the credit goes where it is due. Your support as they take on new roles and tasks is critical.