Are you a good delegator? Delegation is an incredibly important tool that many of us hesitate to use, and not properly delegating tasks has been the downfall of many potentially successful people. The biggest barrier to delegation is overcoming the attitude that you have to do it all yourself!
Many successful careers have been stalled by the old adage, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Or “It’s just faster to do it myself than train someone and fix their mistakes”.
Short term this may be true, but if your goal is to get ahead ask yourself the following question. Will your manager let you move to a larger project or role if you’re the only one that can do a particular task? It may make you feel like you have job security but isn’t it also limiting to your overall career prospects?
Don’t let yourself fall into this career stalling trap!
Here’s four guidelines you should consider using before you delegate a task:
If the task Isn’t your strength and someone else has more skill
When the task Requires a lower level of expertise
When the assignment takes more time than you have – and someone else has the time
When an assignment would be a good training opportunity for someone
Delegation is very different from simply assigning someone a task or project that falls into his or her established job description or requirements. When you delegate, you give someone else one of your job tasks to complete with the authority and responsibility to complete it properly.
When you get yourself out from under the fear that delegation is an abdication of your responsibilities it’s incredibly freeing. Think about it this way, you still share accountability for the assignment and your still responsible for the ultimate success of the delegation process. Just make sure you establish checkpoints to monitor the overall progress of the process. Just as the outcomes of your entire department are your responsibility, you are also responsible for the ultimate success of the delegation process.
It’s hard to believe but delegation can be quite freeing, in fact the times I was most successful in a particular role I actually felt like I didn’t have enough work to do. This freedom from mundane tasks led me to pursue creative projects for which I was often given praise and promotions.
Start small, think about something you’re doing that could be delegated and sit with someone that has the time and skills to complete this task. Often the person you’re giving the task to will appreciate the fact that you entrusted them with a responsibility that was before considered above their job status.
Have fun with it – your team, your company and your career will be glad you did!