Managers have a lot of their plate, and the most effective leaders understand that they need to count on their team to maximize productivity. While handing off assignments will allow you to accomplish more in less time, delegation is a bit of a balancing act.
There is an art to delegation, and mastering this art involves taking these tips into account:
Map out your expectations – Before you assign a project to someone, take some time to define your expectations. Fully thinking through what you’re asking for will help to ensure quality results.
Hand off the assignment – When you hand off the assignment be sure to provide clear information surrounding the deadline, budget, context, and desired communication schedule. Let your team member know you’re always available to answer questions or for guidance.
Is your team member committed to the assignment? – Let them know his or her contribution is going to impact the team and organization. Remind them that they are a critical part of the team and the project could not be completed without him or her.
Don’t let assignments fall back on your plate – When the going get tough, the common inclination is to give the responsibility back (known as reverse delegating). Instead of adding it to your plate, treat these as learning opportunities and coach your team through their challenges.
By thinking through these steps when you delegate a project, you’ll be able to increase your team’s level of productivity and confidence, in addition to positioning yourself as a leader within your organization.