Delegation (Part 1)

In today’s busy business environment, managers are always looking for ways to free up time and get more done in their workday. Often, managers forget one of the best ways this can be donedelegate! Yes, letting others do what we feel only we have the ability to do is sometimes difficult. But, if one is to function at their greatest capacity, one must learn to let go. Here are a few ideas to help with the delegation process and, at the same time, create that valuable free time you need to grow your career.

Sit down with a piece of paper and list all the things you do. Break major responsibilities into as many subcategories as you can. Once you are done with this task, start reviewing the list and check all items you are comfortable letting someone on your staff do for you. If there is an item in doubt, check it anyway on this first pass. Next to each item you checked, place the name of a staff member to whom you wish to pass on the responsibility. Assess strengths and weaknesses of these individuals and their knowledge level of the task. Match the task with their talents.

If possible, develop a written description of the task requirements and review this document with the person given the task. Placing the assignment in writing greatly reduces misunderstanding by both parties. Insure that the task assigned is fully understood by asking questions following your review. Have the staff member re-state your assignment in their words to assure they have understood your instructions. You should be willing to provide some training if necessary. Don’t expect perfection the first time or that the individual will do things exactly as you might have done them. Make expectations clear but allow for some growth and learning. Perhaps there may have to be a joint effort in the beginning and you can gradually let go entirely once your comfort level grows.

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