It’s considered one of the most important skills a good leader can have: the ability to delegate responsibilities. Still, many managers are hesitant to give up control of almost anything.
So just how good are you at delegating?
Answer these four questions to find out how strong your delegating skills are.
Question #1: Can you identify the top 5 strengths of each member of your team?
The best way to have confidence that any job you do pass off will be done to your standards is to assign tasks based on staffers’ specific strengths. That way you’re setting the person and the project up for success.
Yes, you know who’s detail oriented and who has a better customer service persona. But dig deeper to ID those less-obvious skills that may make one staffer an obvious choice for a specific responsibility.
Question #2: Do you have a realistic understanding of how much time each task takes?
You may be so used to doing all the jobs on your current plate that you might not even realize how much time is actually devoted to each one.
That’s critical to the process of delegating – you have to have an accurate gauge of just how long it will take for the given job. That way you can determine whether that person has time in his or her schedule for the new task and communicate the time commitment when you pass it off. It’s worth tracking the time the next time you do the job.
(Don’t forget it will likely take staffers a little more time as it will be a new responsibility for them.)
Question #3: Can you commit the time to training them properly?
Of course you know delegating isn’t just pushing your work off your plate onto another person’s. But many managers, in the interest of saving time (that’s why you’re delegating in the first place, after all), hand off a project without nearly as much training as they need to.
Be sure to hold off on handing off until you (or someone else on your team) has time to thoroughly explain what’s expected.
Question #4: Is what you’re delegating meaningful?
Granted, not everything you delegate is going to be mentally stimulating. But you have to be prepared to delegate tasks that won’t only be perceived as “grunt work.”
A lot of that depends on how you frame it. Be sure you’re orienting any jobs you ask staffers to do in the bigger picture and why strategically it’s important to the department or your company.
If you can tie it to why it’s important for their own career development, too, all the better!