5 Tips for Effective Delegation

One skillset that continues to be a leadership opportunity is, When and How to Delegate Effectively.  Many leaders face some of the same challenges. The names change, the faces change… but the challenges stay the same.

Why do we delegate anyway?

Is it to get something off our plate? Is it because there isn’t enough time to get everything done? What are some of the questions we need to be asking ourselves before we jump into delegating? Start by asking the following:

Tip #1.  Is this something I and only I can do? The higher you go in the organization and the more responsibility you have, the greater the need for priority setting, focus, talent development and delegation.

Tip #2.  What is at stake? Not everything can or should be delegated. Questions should include: How important is this? Deadlines? Key stakeholders?

Tip #3:  What is the best use of my time right now?  In my Time Management classes, I teach that the problem is not that you don’t have enough time… it is what you choose to do with your time. Ask yourself, what am I putting in jeopardy by not delegating this? What would I create time for that is more impactful for the organization if I do delegate?

Tip #4.  What knowledge, skills and abilities are needed to do this?

Tip#5.  What’s your talent pool look like? Do you have someone you can delegate to who has the skillset to do this with little or no support? Do they have capacity to take on the work? Do you need to shift some of their work to set them up for success? Could this be a developmental assignment for someone? What support would they need?

These questions will help provide insight as to what can be delegated, why it should be delegated, and who it could be delegated to.

Don’t stop yet!

A leader’s job doesn’t stop there. Next steps include: having a two-way delegation conversation with the individual; making sure you have a follow-up process to ensure the assignment is on track; and a recovery plan just in case things go awry.

Delegating effectively is a critical leadership skill. Without it, a leader isn’t developing the team, leveraging their resources and won’t be able to think and act at the strategic level that is needed. If you are looking to increase your leadership effectiveness and go to your next best version of you, please reach out to me at joan@jmclark.com. Let’s talk!

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