Delegating is not that easy

During any large project, there comes a time when you’re forced to delegate portions of the main task to other people. Sometimes, however, it’s a real struggle to give up the reins. Delegating is not that easy.

Delegating is not that easy

Delegating is one of the more challenging aspects of leadership, and it actually gets harder to do the higher someone goes up the corporate ladder. It’s a struggle for two reasons. Most people know that work needs to get done, but they can’t properly articulate what the end result should look like, so it’s just easier to do it themselves.

Why delegation is hard

Delegation is hard because it requires trusting others. Trust doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and it’s hard to build trust when you’re overloaded already. It’s not just trust, delegation is hard from a technical standpoint. That is to say, delegation is complicated, it requires practice, and access to resources.

How to delegate

Here are a few tips to help you delegate effectively so that your team shares the workload and makes progress that benefits everyone.

  1. Choose the right person for the job

Part of being a good leader is understanding your employees’ strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. If you need to delegate a task that is going to require a lot of collaboration to complete, don’t delegate it to someone who very strongly prefers working alone. Delegate it to someone who prefers collaborating.
You may want to consider sitting down with your team, going through the list, and letting people self-select the tasks they’re most interested in taking over. Letting people choose the tasks they’re delegated is another way to build trust with and inspire engagement among your team.

  1. Explain why you’re delegating

If you’re delegating a task to someone out of the blue, it really helps when you provide context for why you’re giving them that responsibility.
When you select people to delegate to, tell them why you chose them specifically and how you hope to see this help them grow. Help them see each delegated task as an opportunity to take on more responsibilities or grow new skills.

  1. Provide resources and training

You have to make sure the person tasked with a job or project has the tools and resources they need to be successful. Make sure that when you delegate a task, the person has the tools and skills they need to complete the task or provide a way for them to work on those skills.For example, if you ask someone to use a specific tool they’ve never used before to complete a task, make sure there’s a plan for them to become familiar with the tool first.

  1. Say thank you

When someone completes a task or project you delegated, show genuine appreciation and point out specific things they did right or well. When you make a note of those specifics, you’re giving people a roadmap for what they should continue to do to be successful.
This is the simplest step but one of the hardest for many people to learn. It will inspire loyalty, provide real satisfaction for work done, and become the basis for mentoring and performance reviews.
If you delegate well, you can increase trust and commitment with your employees, improve productivity, and make sure the right people are performing the tasks that best suit them.
So, don’t be afraid to pass the baton. It might take some practice to become a great delegator, but if you work at it, you’ll all go further.