Many times when we take charge of something, we think we have to do it all ourselves. Then we end up overworked, overwhelmed and stressed out. Yes, I agree things need to be done, but they don’t necessarily all have to be done byYou. It’s important that we learn how to delegate effectively so we make the best use of our time. But the first question I hear you ask is: What does it really mean to delegate?
To delegate is to assign responsibility to someone else so as to complete a certain task at hand, but you still retain the responsibility for the successful completion of the task. Delegation is a powerful and important tool in time management, but it also happens to be something that tends to be under-utilized for varying reasons. Most times the issue is that you’ve delegated a task and been let down.
Delegation is important for 6 key reasons:
- It is Efficient: You must know that you can’t do everything by yourself. You can’t be all things to everyone. Know when to choose your battles and when to dish them out. To be a more efficient person, delegating tasks is necessary. Let other people do the actual tasks while you plan and strategize ahead. This way, you are more time and cost effective and less stressed.
- It Leads to Personal Development: A successful person is one wants to see other people succeed, and helps them to do so. By delegating tasks, you are giving other people the opportunity to develop themselves, to acquire the same skills that you have, and to encourage them to use skills that they have just acquired. In other words, you mentor others by delegating tasks to them.
- It is Empowering: By delegating tasks, you are empowering those under you to become experts in their fields, regardless of whether they surpass your own skills or not. This empowerment encourages your team members to develop themselves even further, and it also fosters loyalty and respect for you as the leader.
- Makes You a Better Leader: Good leaders do not do things: they plan, strategize, mentor, and coach others. By using the powers of delegation, you are training people to perfect the roles that have been assigned to them, so that they can carry out increasingly difficult tasks with little or no supervision and successfully complete them. If you don’t delegate, you will not know your team’s strengths and weaknesses. You will not know that you have capable hands working with you, and you will end up burned out when you could have delegated those tasks all along.
- It Leads to Better Decision Making: Because you give yourself the benefit of many perspectives, rather than have to figure it all out yourself.
- It Builds Morale: Morale is important, as it is what motivates the people you’re working with to put in their best. There’s something that happens to a person when he/she knows they’re being trusted with more responsibility.
It doesn’t end here though. There are 3 things that need to be in place for your delegation process to really be effective:
- Communication– Whoever you are delegating a task to must know exactly what it is you expect of them, in clear and articulate terms.
- Trust– You should be able to trust the people you are delegating a task to complete that task. Don’t set yourself up by delegating to people who have been proven to be unreliable.
- Honesty – Be honest with them about the importance of what you’re asking them to do. Let them know what the stakes are, and what you expect of them.
So start putting these into practice and watch your efficiency levels go up and stress levels go down.