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Delegation is a Vital Management Skill

Consider these words by steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie: "The secret of success is not in doing your own work, but in recognizing the right man to do it."
So what exactly is delegating? It’s simply the act of entrusting an activity to another person. More specifically, delegation is the downward transfer of formal authority from superior to subordinate. You empower an employee to act for you, while you remain accountable for the outcome.
This may be due to fear of letting go, or the
mistaken belief that nobody else can do the job as well as they can. Or
sometimes, it may be because they feel there is simply not time to
delegate an activity, and it is easier to do it themselves.
What's keeping you from delegating? Probably, it's either believing you're the only one who can do a task correctly, feeling like you need to be in control, attempting to address unmet needs, desiring the adrenaline rush of being busy or feeding your ego.
Sometimes your need to be in control stops you from delegating. When you need to be in control, you're effectively giving away much of your personal power. You can reclaim this power when you let go of your need to be in control. Then you'll be able to delegate more easily.

Positive results of delegation include :

  • You'll have more time and energy for the most important things.
  • You'll have less to do, less clutter and less pressure.
  • You'll be supported by responsible people working together.
  • You'll benefit from others' experience, wisdom, thoughts and perspectives.
  • The people you spend time with will feel more confident and increase their skills.
  • You'll demonstrate to others your professionalism and effectiveness.
  • You'll get tasks done rather than adding them to your to-do list.
  • You'll achieve your results in less time.
  • You'll create a win-win situation.

Why aren't you delegating?
You can continue handling the tasks that call on your brilliance/expertise
Great delegation is about delegating an outcome rather than dumping a problem
Offer clear and measurable objectives. When you're discussing how the task can be achieved, listen to the other person. They may have different ideas on how this can be handled fairly for everyone involved.
Choose a person who would really enjoy the task and who has the appropriate skills or willingness to learn them. Also, select people that you trust rather than choosing just anyone and hoping it'll work out okay. Trust them to do their best and leave them feeling an important part of the process.
Be available to receive reports on how the delegated task is going and let the person know that you're there to discuss any problems early on, rather than letting the problem get out of hand.
Start by delegating small tasks and when these have been done correctly, increase the tasks.
Teach the person the tasks and assist them in discovering the best way to carry them out for themselves.
Encourage them to set goals as they progress with the task. Be with the person, understand their concerns or challenges, and assist them as fully as possible. This will increase their ownership of the process.
Let them know your confidence in them.
Establish a deadline to build responsibility in the other person and to allow them to see the importance of the task.
Communicate fully the consequences to everyone involved if the task is not carried out successfully.
Let them see the and understand the bigger picture.
Celebrate with and acknowledge each person's contribution.
We all like to hear that we've done well.
Did you know that delegation doesn't just make your life easier--it also helps those to whom you delegate?

Consider what you give to other people when you choose to delegate :

  • Responsibility
  • A sense of achievement
  • Enjoyment and fun in the sharing process
  • Income
  • Trust
  • An opportunity to grow, learn and contribute
  • An opportunity to be part of a team
  • The chance to increase their skills and self esteem.

So what exactly is delegating? It’s simply the act of entrusting an activity to another person. More specifically, delegation is the downward transfer of formal authority from superior to subordinate. You empower an employee to act for you, while you remain accountable for the outcome.
Effective delegation involves the following process: working with an employee to establish goals, granting them sufficient authority and responsibility to accomplish the goals, often giving them the freedom to decide how the goals will be achieved, being available as a resource to help them with the assignment, and evaluating and rewarding their performance.
Benefits of Delegating
If you’re a new supervisor, delegation can be a major challenge because you might be apprehensive about giving up control or lack confidence in others’ abilities. But effective delegating offers a variety of benefits. It will free up some of your time, enhance your leadership skills, plus help subordinates expand their capabilities — all of which will benefit your company overall.
Nine Steps to Effective Delegating
To help you delegate more effectively, here are some suggestions from Thomas R. Horton, the author of Delegation and Team Building: No Solo Acts Please, and other experts:

  • Decide what tasks need to be delegated. Delegate any task — from administrative to technical — that someone else can perform better. Hand off jobs you dislike the most, that are least critical to the performance of your job or that will provide valuable experience for subordinates. But never delegate any task that would violate someone else’s privacy.
  • Choose the right person for the job.  Assess the skills and capabilities of subordinates and assign the task to the most appropriate person. Be sure to delegate the entire task because this gives the subordinate added responsibility and increases their motivation.  Delegation works best when the person taking on the activity fully understands what is required, and is enthusiastic and willing to do it.
  • Define the scope of the work and set expectations.  Give detailed explanations for what the job involves; including all key points. Provide information on what, why, when, who, where and how and clearly specify your preferred results. Write this information down.
  • Set deadlines.  Employees will usually feel more responsible for a task when they’re held accountable. With no deadline, people tend to procrastinate and lose motivation. So help delegates set reasonable deadlines. 
  • Identify methods for follow-up.  Work with your employees to set a time for review of performance, such as a meeting to check progress or a phone call to see if they have any questions. The follow-up should be mutually determined at the start. This way, subordinates know you are not trying to micromanage, but instead are trying to determine how work is progressing. 
  • Train delegates, if necessary. Make sure delegates know how to do the assignment. If they don’t, provide the necessary training. The initial training may take more time than doing it yourself. But it will benefit you and them in the long run.
  • Delegate responsibility and authority — not methods.  As a leader, you need to grant your delegates the responsibility to make everyday decisions. Have trust in them and try to give them the freedom to work without you looking over their shoulders. Also, let subordinates complete tasks in the manner they choose, as long as the results are what you have specified. Otherwise, they might feel unmotivated and powerless if they have no room to think creatively and act as they see best. 
  • Evaluate performance.  After the assignment has been completed, evaluate results, not methods. Evaluate the task based on the expectations and standards set when it was delegated. If certain aspects were left out when you initially defined the job, don’t hold delegates responsible. Work with your employees to determine how you and they feel about how the performance turned out and how it can be improved.
  • Acknowledge accomplishments and provide recognition.  Always give recognition and praise for the work delegates have done.  By recognizing their efforts and letting them know you appreciate them, they will take greater pride in their work and may be more willing to help with assignments in the future.

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