10 Steps to Doing Less and Getting More Done
You’re stressed out and over worked because it takes skill and courage to delegate effectively.
You’ve reached your highest potential, if you’re maxed out and you refuse to delegate.
10 reasons delegating is difficult:
- You’re a control freak. (Control freaks become leaders. Many stay that way.)
- You worry about results.
- You wonder if they’ve thought through their decision.
- You stew over follow-through. You don’t want to meddle, but you wonder if they’re on track.
- You can do it better than others.
- You enjoy the job you need to pass off.
- You overthink what could go wrong.
- You’re compassionate. What if you burnout team members?
- You’re a glory hound. It’s difficult to let others shine.
- It’s faster to just do it yourself. (At least in the short-term.)
Leaders who struggle to delegate anticipate resistance, but often encounter enthusiasm.
10 steps to doing less and getting more done:
- Clarify the situation.
- Explain that you need their help.
- Make it about them. “I’d like to expand your role?”
- Discuss why it matters to them and others.
- Offer training.
- Stay available to help when they step out. Don’t hover.
- Establish reporting, if you worry how things are going.
- Affirm success. Honor effort and growth as well as completing tasks.
- Learn from stumbles and failure. “What are you learning about yourself?”
- Build on success. “What else comes to mind, when you think about expanding your role?” Make a list of several items that might represent future opportunity. Effective delegating is development.
When you wonder what’s going on with someone who’s taking on new responsibilities ask,
- What brought you to this course of action?
- What factors contributed to your decision?
- What concerns you about getting this done?
The real opportunity of delegating effectively is enthusiasm and ownership in others.
How does delegating go wrong?
What suggestions for effective delegating might you offer?
*The idea of delegating as expanding a person’s role and the question, “What brought you to this decision,” came from two separate coaching conversations I had this week.
Timely post, I have a question around this, but from the opposite angle. I have historically been a control freak, but was able to break free of that in the past few years. Now, I almost feel as though the pendulum has swung too far, and that I have over-delegated, to the point of having very little on my plate most days. How can I tell if I’m out of balance, is there a clear barometer? Or is it just case-by-case?
Thanks Dan. The first things that comes to mind when I read your comment:
Do your team members respect you or do they feel you are taking advantage of them?
If you have very little on your plate, how might use the time to develop people and find new opportunities for your organization?
I’m not sure if you have over-delegated.
Is your team energized and fulfilled?
Are you stepping forward as a person and organization?
I find your comment wonderfully interesting. Thanks again for stopping in.
Thanks for taking the time to reply, you’ve given me some great questions to process.
I hope you keep in touch.
Delegating is a weakness of mine and I am anxiously awaiting responses to your question, “What suggestions for effective delegating might you offer?” The only suggestion I have to offer is to get to know people well so you have a level of trust, an idea of what they may struggle with, and the ability to have honest conversations about the status of a project. I hope others chime in with their good suggestions!
I think this is the best post of the year. Short, sweet and to the point (like me).
You are so correct, delegating is a good way to validate your trust in employees skills as well as identifying any limitations that need to be address to prepare the employ for their next job. I have seen managers that would not delegate due to concerns that the employ may not want to do the task and it could result in a confrontation. Back to your post on coward supervision.
Great post Dan, For me the journey to becoming a great leader is knowing when and what to delegate. From my experience explaining to your team why a task is important, how it adds value for the customer and the organisation (in that order) and the potential you see in them (skill, enthusiasm, energy, a new set of eyes) to make a real difference are keys to successful delegation. By the way always important to provide regular constructive feedback and support and be open to always learning from your team.
Woow!!! To the point nothing else a lot of learning has come to my side with the post