As a leader, mastering the art of delegation is paramount in order to grow and scale your influence at work. Being unable to delegate effectively will limit your ability to successfully lead a team and increase your impact at work.
The fears and failures associated with past delegation attempts lead many to conclude that delegation is not worth the effort. While this may seem like the easy choice, it is also one that progressively limits one’s career advancement, negatively impacts one’s personal time management, and contributes to higher levels of stress and lower levels of work-life balance.
Effective delegation is not only possible, but necessary and important for everyone involved.
Here are six steps to help you delegate more effectively.
CAPABLE: Before delegating a task, determine whether the individual has the requisite skills, training or knowledge to complete it. This includes both technical and soft skills. Identifying all skills needed to complete the task and identifying and filling in the skills gaps of the person you are delegating to is the first step to delegating effectively.
CONTEXT: Provide the context of this task within the bigger picture. Explain how this task will impact the outcome for the organization, the work flow in a team, or the delivery to a customer. Every small task contributes to a much larger outcome. Make sure the person you are delegating to understands the value of this task and their contribution.
CLARITY: A lack of clarity leads to uncertainty, increased stress and poor performance. To overcome this, be specific about deliverables, resources, delivery timelines as well as steps to take whenever uncertainty arises.
CONFIRM: Check for understanding and confirm that the individual knows exactly what is required and is willing to comply.
COMMUNICATE: Avoid failures due to a lack of communication by discussing how and when progress updates will be communicated. Monitor progress against agreed timelines and deliverables and communicate feedback promptly and clearly. Communicating, especially on a longer-term project, enables the individual completing the project to address any challenges and allows the person delegating to assess progress.
CELEBRATE: Recognise and acknowledge delegation successes. Recipients of delegation will appreciate a thank you and recognizing good outcomes will further motivate you to delegate more.
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Although it may take some courage to delegate when you are used to doing it yourself, once you start seeing the results of effective delegation, delegating will become a habit. Reflect on the six steps of effective delegation next time you experience a delegation fail and identify where your process could be improved. Consciously work on improving and fine tuning this skill until you master the art of effective delegation.
You should remember this the next time you are tempted to allow fears or past failures to prevent you from delegating a task. Delegation could lead to more balance, less stress, new opportunities, and increased flexibility to do more of what you desire.
Delegation also creates opportunities for you to mentor and develop others so they are successful too. Develop the habit of constantly asking yourself, “Can I delegate this?” and make time daily to develop your delegation skills.
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Read this article as published in the Accountancy SA Magazine, June 2021
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About the author:
Usha Maharaj CA(SA) is an Executive and Leadership Coach in South Africa who went from small town trainee accountant to Director in a Big-4 audit firm. Her 16+ year corporate career had all of the highs and lows of a high performing workplace where she shattered setbacks, crushed challenges and conquered fears to enjoy a highly successful career. She now inspires women, ambitious individuals and executives to reach their own highest levels of success while living a balanced and happy life.
Find out more at www.ushamaharaj.com.