Is Delegation One Of Your Weaknesses, Too?
Delegation is probably my greatest weakness. It’s not that I delegate too much, it’s that I delegate to little. Many individuals have this same weakness. Personally, I think out of all of the weaknesses I could have, this one’s a pretty good one to have. But there is always room for improvement. And through improvement comes productivity.
There are a few reasons for this:
- In many (most) of my job roles throughout my career, I have been the one who has been on the receiving end of the delegation.
- As being on the receiving end of the delegation, I have rarely had the opportunity to have someone to delegate work to.
- I am a perfectionist and I have issues with having individuals complete my work, especially when it is an important and detailed task.
- I like being involved in projects from beginning to end, including negotiations thru to the management of the accounts.
But, I have been working on this weakness as much as possible. I want to be the best I can be in both my personal and professional life, and to do this I have to work on any and all weaknesses I have. Through my current role I have been working on this particular weakness by:
- Working with other departments to see where we can consolidate processes to create time efficiencies.
- Refer employees to the appropriate departments to answer questions rather than become the ‘middle man’.
- Ask employees from other departments to host training calls to give information to employees that they will need.
- Allow others (i.e. trainers, representatives, etc.) to do their job without interfering with their work, but still provide them with information I have that will be helpful to them.
- Ask for help from others when I have too much on my plate to accomplish, especially when the tasks I have require a great attention to detail.
When delegating tasks or objectives, there are a few things I take into consideration:
- Follow the SMART acronym – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound
- The person’s work-style – do they require step-by-step instructions or would they be better at creating their own process of completing the work?
- Set specific deadlines – if the task or objective requires multiple steps (or multiple people to complete), setting specific deadlines can help ensure the task is moving along as planned and can help identify pitfalls that need to be addressed. It’s better to know this as soon as possible to help adjust prior to the final deadline.
- Give authority – ensuring the person the task has been delegated to understands the authority he or she has been given will help them complete the task more efficiently.
- Keep and open-door policy – creating and maintaining an open-door policy will help the individual receiving the delegated task feel more confident that he or she isn’t alone and can ask questions where needed to complete it to your standards.
Delegation is crucial to running a business from the CEO all the way down the chain of command, and part of being a manager. Many individuals I know have challenges with delegation; me being one of those people. However, with the right mindset, it is possible to delegate confidently and create responsibility within the organization. This will ultimately help grow the organization and be more productive.