HOW TO DELEGATE EFFECTIVELY
One of the keys to effective management is delegating work to others – no one can do everything for themselves. Learn to delegate aspects of your work properly, and you will have time to complete the most important elements of your job successfully.
Learning to Delegate
The process of delegation comprises the decision to delegate, the briefing, and the follow-up. At each of the points, anticipate the potential problems.
The Decision: Persuade yourself to delegate You will not benefit if you work to the assumption that it takes longer to reach somebody else to do a job than to do it yourself. The delegation has its own rewards – once someone has learned a particular task, they will be able to do it in the future without repeating briefings. However, be sure to delegate each job to a person with the appropriate skills and knowledge.
The Briefing: Make sure that the person to whom you are delegating clearly understands the brief – what you want them to do and by when. Offer ongoing support and guidance.
The follow-up: During the course of the project, check the standard of work produced. Provide positive feedback, but beware of overdoing it – there is a narrow line between helpful supervision and debilitating interference.
Reinforcing a Brief
In addition to providing a clear brief when delegating, you must provide all the information necessary for someone to complete the task successfully. To avoid any misinterpretation of the facts, take time to explain exactly what you expect, and how to project fits into your overall plan. Discuss any difficulties that may occur and how they could be tackled, and answer queries as they arise during the completion of the task.
Delegation does not mean handing over responsibility for certain tasks. Encourage individuals to work using their own methods, providing they stick to the brief. This allows you to exploit their specialized knowledge, or to provide them with an opportunity to develop a new area of expertise. One of the common contentions arising out of delegation is conflict over responsibility, so it is vital to define exactly what the delegate is responsible for.
Reserve some time for the tasks that you alone can do.
Make sure you define objectives clearly when you delegate a task.
Keep a checklist to help you monitor the progress of tasks that you have delegated to others.
Reward good work generously, and chastise in moderation.