Eight ways to improve your delegation skills
The meaning of delegating duties (according to the Dictionary) is to give another person your duties, responsibility or power ‘so that they can act on your behalf’. However, just as with many other words in any English language dictionary, its concept and explanation are easy, but in practice, its hard! Lets explore more ways to improve your delegation skills.
Premium, professional delegation skills can take years and even decades to acquire, requiring regular practice, which is a reason so many projects fail. Often, people give up on delegating too quickly due to unrealistic expectations, not taking the time to explain the task or by not motivating people.
However, once those skills are achieved and in practice, competency can supply a solid baseline for a sophisticated lifelong business tool set. These developed resources are then entirely unique to you, your input and your own life experiences.
Many professionals report a noticeable improvement in their personal lives too due to the ripple effect of delegation. Suddenly new found time, easier task management and improved project delivery enhance everything, overall, until there’s no looking back.
The benefits of delegating are many, such as:
- Increased Energy and Work Productivity
- Less Stress (per Individual)
- Closer Commercial (or personal) Community Bonds
- Trust Building
- Improved long-term work/life balance and satisfaction
In an age of increased self-awareness, development tool sharing and personal accountability, it makes sense to invest in refining, finessing and further connecting to aspects of life and project management, that allow for an increase in group accountability and participation, providing higher likelihood of success, less stress, and better work-life balance for all.
So! If you’re interested in a happier, more integrative and balanced workplace next year, take the time the read our tips on how to get a head start on distributing tasks and entrusting others with tasks and duties that’d you’d normally do.
THE 8 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR DELEGATION SKILLS:
PRACTICE AT HOME
Let’s set the scene:
You’ve just come home from a long, gruelling day of project planning training and need a moment to yourself to decompress and unwind. You flick through some tv channels mindlessly or perhaps read a newspaper, but the pressing and obvious matter of domestic duties are calling your name.
So, will you:
- Quit your ‘unwinding time’ and do the duties yourself
- Order your partner/housemate/children to take on the tasks
- Delegate tasks to a family member with clear instructions, motivating them with trust. Offer an equal return at a later time (when they need or ask for help)
- Of course, the natural inclination depends on the type of style you have, when engaging and entrusting others. It also depends on a number of other contextual factors, but all things being equal, answer C provides a great platform for practice for delegation at home.
The concept of delegation is to both unburden your and entrust another, thereby building further trust in a work or private relationship. This method allows for the establishment of higher quality outcomes due to a lesser workload on individuals and a shared responsibility which strengthens ties.
At work, start handing over small duties and tasks to people that you trust, and whom you know have the right skill set for it.
This approach is very simplistic yet effective because it teaches you that your colleagues are capable of more than you may be aware of, in practical day-to-day spheres, and too, or even exceeding expectations and standards you may have for yourself!
CAST A WIDER NET
If you’re not getting the results you need from delegating, perhaps you ought to cast a wider net.
Look at the scope of contact you’ve had with colleagues and take the time to consider whether you may be missing more relevant and experienced people to successfully complete your handover task. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of switching the scene.
Motivate with Meaning
If you fear to receive an uninspired or begrudging response when delegating, it’s time to get your purpose very clear so you can present the task with confidence!
Before approaching the delegated party, take a moment to yourself to privately write down why this task matters, what it means to you and others, how the outcome will positively affect the project and any other tangible meanings. This helps provide a cause for motivation and contribution, leading to a positive interaction (and outcome!).
OFFER YOUR EXPERTISE
Evaluate staff skills and your own. Where are project team-members struggling or suffering? What tasks are you reluctant to do? Certainly, there’s opportunity for a trade-off/bartering style arrangement for cyclical jobs on a repeat basis.
Be honest with yourself about what your strengths are and ask your colleagues to be frank about their assets too. Get a clear understanding of ‘who has what’ (and when), so you can maximise the exchange of skills effectively and directly.
REFINE THE SCOPE OF WORK
Make it crystal clear. What’s the purpose? What’s the objective? If you don’t understand the scope of work and its intricacies – your delegated party will understand even less.
Get your ideas, knowledge and comprehension on tasks clear for yourself first, enabling you to direct effectively.
INSPIRE WITH INCENTIVE
Incentives can be encouragement, support, praise or other forms of acknowledgement and validation. Believe it or not – no matter how old we get we still all crave recognition and reward.
Rewards need not be physical or material, they could be public praise, a pat on the back, sharing a coffee or simply animating your appreciation for a person. If you can demonstrate gratitude for good work, often, good work becomes great – all due to incentives.
Make life easier for you and your delegates. Create streamlined functional processes for repeat tasks and deliverables that eventually become a transferable knowledge base for others to benefit from too. Keep your project on-track and aligned to expectations with this practical process tip.