You know you need to delegate. But do you know HOW to delegate? If you’re not getting the desired results, chances are this lies with you.
Most agree that delegation is critical to management success. If that’s true, why are we usually left unhappy with the results we get after we delegate?
“WHY! WHY! Oh why, do I not get what I asked for?” Sound familiar?
But before you go blaming those you delegate to, remember this:
Failed delegation is rarely the fault of the person to whom you delegated. Usually, it is the fault of the person delegating.
“Delegating work works, provided the one delegating works, too.” – Robert Half.
As for the common root of failed delegation? Well, 99% of the time, the leader’s instructions do not provide clarity for the person doing the work.
But you can change things and begin to get the expected results. And I’m about to tell you how.
How to Delegate: The #1 Secret
Okay, here it is, the number one secret about how to delegate:
GET (AND GIVE) CLARITY!
Without clarity, you’re leaving delegation up to guesswork. You’re expecting your team to read your mind. And when has that ever worked out? As lovely as it would be for our team members to know what we want before we even know what we want, this isn’t realistic. Or fair. With some effort in creating clarity surrounding expectations, delegation, in general, will become much more effective.
You will benefit from getting the results you want, and your team will benefit from knowing what their next move should be.
Here are four things to be clear on about how to delegate
You must be 100% clear on:
Clarity of objective: What exactly is it that needs to be done? Is an assignment as straightforward as it can be?
- If a report is required, what exactly is to be completed? An email? A 1-page summary? A 10-page brief? Or, a 40-page report?
- When is it to be completed?
- What are the resources that are going to be available?
Clarity of responsibility: Whose assignment is it? Who does what to whom?
Clarity of time: The request was for a “quick competitive analysis.” Well, how quick is it? A day? A week? Two weeks?
Clarity of communication: Who reports to whom? When are status reports and updates due? When do you, as the assigned, want to know about risks and problems?
Clarity is a tricky subject. It’s a challenge for many leaders. But it’s worth the work of creating it. For more on how to do that, try this post next: Be The CRO – 2 Ways to Communicate with Clarity.
So, what is the solution?
As for how to achieve this clarity? Personal charters!
There’s no guarantee you’ll end up precisely with what you want. But you can improve the odds by creating a charter between you and the person to whom you are delegating a task.
These ‘charters’ can be verbal, in an email or in a formal written document. The point is to clarify expectations, milestones, terms & timings, schedule accountability and establish reporting expectations.
Okay, now we’ve given you the secret for delegating and four things you need to be absolutely clear on. Now, it’s time to go out and make it happen. Communicate expectations, clearly define those expectations, and don’t assume the person you’re delegating to can read your mind.
Need some help with that? Let’s talk. Click here to start a conversation and get the results you want.
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