Delegation Skills: The Importance of Delegating Tasks

- Leadership

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How to successfully delegate as a leader? Learn why and how to improve your delegation skills – in 6 simple steps!

If you are reading this, it’s because you want to know (and probably understand) more about delegation. An article by Tomás Romero Borzi, Management 3.0 Facilitator from Argentina, who considers delegation skills essential because according to him it’s the way to grow, keep learning, keep being challenged, motivated and stay in flow.

In the last few years it became crystal clear: Delegation is not only a crucial, important part of every leader, but the KEY to growing, empowering, and collaborating with others.

What’s your take on the following statement?

If you want something done right, do it yourself!

Would you agree with whoever said this?

At what cost? And for how long?

Probably, behind that phrase was someone that:

  • Did not delegate the correct task; or
  • Did not understand to who that person was delegating the task; or
  • Was not clear on the importance of the what/why/when that something was delegated;
  • All the previous statements.

On the other hand, if you want to grow, as a person, as a professional, as a leader, probably more and/or new tasks, or goals, are going to be added, or pursued. And for that, you have to LET IT GO.

You can’t do everything, all the time, always.

Probably at the beginning, you will feel fine, doing everything, understanding how all the systems work, every engine, every process, but in the middle / long term, you will start losing focus. Your batteries will start running out.

Errors will be made, important stuff will be missed. Why? Let me try to answer that now:

Why Delegation Skills are important: Advantages of delegation

As mentioned before, delegation is crucial. Here is why.

The very first moment you start delegating something, you will be:

  • Focusing on the right things;
  • Focusing on doing the things right;
  • Encouraging others to grow and take more responsibility;
  • Taking more responsibility and encouraging yourself to grow (probably those new tasks you are tackling, have been delegated by someone else, it is a chain of growing)
  • As before, others mentored, or guided, or teach you, you will be the mentor/guide/teacher of others.

None of us do things right the very first time, we try, and try, and fail, and learn until we succeed.

We did not know everything, and we need to understand that when we delegate.

Improve your Delegation Skills within a Management 3.0 workshop,
including the Delegation and Empowerment module

Delegation can be practiced, can be taught, can be learned. Let me share with you:

Effective Delegation Skills: How to successfully delegate as a leader

To improve your delegation skills, and the success, you will need to:

  1. Understand WHAT are you delegating, and WHAT can be delegated. Not all the tasks or stuff can be delegated, you will need to review your activities and identify which ones can be delegated in the sort term, and probably which ones will require more time and/or preparation to be delegated. Let’s look into this further below.
  2. Identify WHO can take that responsibility, or WHO already let you know is interested in grabbing more tasks. Take into consideration the preparation, skills, time others will need to be able to perform those tasks successfully. Probably some members are more than ready, but others will need some mentorship or training until they can do it on their own.
  3. Don’t be afraid to set some “rules” or guidelines that will avoid re-work and misaligned expectations on both sides. Providing support on your side will be seen as confidence, trust, and leveraging the experience in both ways.
  4. Be transparent on WHAT needs to be done, and WHEN needs to be delivered, probably they can manage the HOW. But everyone is aligned on the final result and delivery if they see WHY that task is important to be achieved.
  5. Be present to tackle any doubt, support, or communication others may need. Feedback on the process is key, so others can apply it and improve as well if they are failing (sometimes it’s not a failure, they just do it their own way 😉 ).
  6. THANK whoever takes that task, it’s not always easy, and not everyone raises a hand to take more responsibility or share they are willing to grow, so if you trust others to do those tasks, thank them when they finish it, show them and provide feedback on what can be improved for next time.

As before, we did not know everything, and like others before you, and yourself, others need to be trained, prepared, and CARED, you need to share that security, trust, and confidence to step up and grow together.

Read on: Stop Micromanagement now and forever!

What can be delegated?

We already covered, the importance of delegation, and some steps on how to delegate, now let’s check in on WHAT can be delegated.

Delegation levels are applied to key decision areas. The “right” level of delegation is a balancing act. It depends on a team’s maturity level and the impact of its decisions. Delegation is context-dependent.

Management 3.0 Delegation & Empowerment module

So, we could create a list, or identify easily what can be delegated, but in the end, it will depend on the maturity level of you, your team, the complexity of the tasks, and the impact that will have on the others.

If there is a task, that it’s small, interesting, somehow recurring, probably that’s a task that you can easily delegate.

On the other hand, if there is a task, that you don’t feel passionate about doing, but you can identify others that are motivated and interested in doing it, you can delegate it, it’s almost a WIN-WIN situation.

The key always is not necessarily to identify which tasks to delegate but to identify to WHO, and set some time to prepare all of you for the change of responsibility.

Delegation does not necessarily mean autonomy, autonomy is not free will, so that’s why it’s important to set guidelines or understanding on what is needed and necessary to do, but let the team figure out how.

In case you are still figuring out what to delegate, to whom, in what way, I invite you to review Management 3.0’s Delegation Poker & Delegation Board practice to see with your team, how you can grow together, having and maintaining a clear understanding of the task, the agreements and who will make the final call.

I wish you all the best in improving your delegation skills!

Read on:

Header photo: Photo by airfocus (Unsplash)

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