Farm It Out: Delegation Strategies
“If you want to do a few things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”
These are powerful words from leadership expert John C. Maxwell. We’ve all heard about the benefits of delegation. Yet, few excel at it. As the leader of your farm, it’s critical you spend your time on only key tasks.
“As a leader, the more you delegate effectively, the greater the time you will have to do the things that only you can do,” says Lolly Daskal, president and CEO of Lead From Within, a consultancy group.
Here are seven ways to delegate more effectively, courtesy of Daskal.
1. Match the person to the job. A huge time waster in business is delegating to the wrong person, Daskal says. Be sure the person you delegate the task to is capable of doing the job.
2. Align your expectations. After selecting the right person, discuss the requirements of the task to ensure you and the person agree on the process.
3. Outline your preferences. Most likely, you want the task completed in a certain way. Explain the parameters, which cuts down on confusion.
4. Confirm you were heard and understood. Known as “forward feedback,” ask the person to actively feed back to you the instructions.
5. Make time for questions. Be available for questions from your team members. Also, be open to suggestions, and tell people to come back to you only if they have a problem. “There is a direct relationship between how much people are invited to talk about the job and how much they understand it, accept it and become committed to it,” Daskal says. “You need to delegate in such a way that people walk away feeling, ‘I can do this job, and I can do it well.’”
6. Set deadlines to manage time. Create a schedule with a specific deadline to complete the task. At the same time, build in time for feedback. During these check-ins, Daskal suggests, ask about any delays or problems that might occur.
7. Pass on the ownership. The person who you delegated to will be more confident if they can fully take over the project or task.
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