We all know you’re the best. We all know did nobody can do it better than you. We all know that your employees can’t do what you can do. And by the end of this article, I hope we all know that it’s your fault. Time and processes are always going to stack up against you.
This is why delegation is so important.
When I evaluate a new manager, one thing is almost always for certain: That manager does not or will not delegate to the crew. This usually has to do with a new manager being brought up to believe that they were successful because they were able to handle all aspects at all time. While they may be right as a regular employee who has certain things to do, they are not correct when leading a group in trying to move the team forward. The number one failure the new managers is indeed the failure to delegate which will prevent the manager from executing more important tasks and also prevent people who he or she serves from learning more valuable skills.
The more common things I hear is,”I can tell somebody do something, and it doesn’t get done the way I want it to be done.“ Or, “No one knows what they are doing."
These are the famous quotes of the puffy-chest leader (he almost needs a name now). It takes time to break away form that, and it also requires you to give someone a chance to do extra so you can, too. It's not just telling someone to do something. Not at first. It will help if you start them out with a PAT.
As Simon Sinek would say: “Start with Why”. It’s not because I told you so. Sharing your vision not only helps with morale and buy-in, it helps with the ability to make decisions based on your end goal. If you can’t paint a picture of the end goal, the why, then the assignee can work easier towards that goal. A good phrase would be “what we are trying to accomplish is X.”
This can be as general or specific as you need. This largely depends on the task and abilities of the assignee. The ultimate goal is to get the employee to a level where they can achieve tasks without much direction. To do this you will have to be willing for mistakes to be made and constructive feedback to be given. The only time failure occurs is when nothing in learned. Give the employee, specific steps if needed so they can accomplish what you need them to do.
You should agree on a time frame or weather the employee can handle the task given their duties. If you have a specific time of completion, this must be very clear. If you don’t you can lean on the employee to self-prioritize. "When do you think you can get this done?”
If the answer is unsatisfactory, you should evaluate his/her list and help prioritize (which we will cover next month). Be careful of the pleaser, who will take on lots of tasks with no regard to the ability to complete them all.
Hypothetically, say a master delegator has a favorite assignee, who's very dependable. The delegator has continuously adding tasks, and the assignee started worrying about their ability to complete those tasks. When they finally sit down together, the delegator understands how long the task list really is.
The full PAT would be: "What we are trying to do is X, so I need you to do Y and Z. This needs to be done by Friday. Can you do this?”