Do you know how to delegate?

Updated: May 10

One of the key shifts when you move into a leadership role is the art of delegating. Delegation may be a challenge, as the shift to tasking your team to complete the task can feel uncomfortable and may not yet be ready to hand over the reins to employees. New leaders may feel more hesitant to let go and often think they will do a better job.

This may also be true, at first.

The shift from doing the task to leading others through to complete the task takes skills. The good news is that your role will shift from doing to strategic thinking, coaching your team and providing feedback. You can learn to expand on these skills during my tailored leadership programs and Thriving Leaders Programs.

However, the value of delegating tasks is not just about improving team productivity and gaining your individual time back, it will also heavily benefit those you are delegating to. Delegation will also give your staff opportunities to explore new skills, support your leadership development, demonstrate new capabilities and build trust. This skill is also crucial to your leadership development and team building.

One thing you want to avoid at all costs is to be paralyzed by overworking and avoid the negative consequences of burnout by doing too much. We already have enough on our plate with the hybrid work.

Delegation assists to build a culture of trust, learning, feedback and accountability and supports both your and others' well-being.

There are so many benefits to delegating but many managers still fail to delegate effectively.

What often gets in the way of a leader delegating is:

  • They feel it is quicker if they do it themselves

  • They can do it better than their team member

  • Don’t feel comfortable letting go as they want to be in control

  • Unsure if their team member has the capability to do the task

Benefits of delegation include:

  • It teaches new skills

  • It allows your staff to demonstrate their capability and step up

  • It empowers your team

  • It gives back time (once the person has learnt the task)

When working out what to delegate, consider this:

  • What tasks don’t play to your strengths or leave you lacking energy when you do them?

  • Which small tasks chew up your time or are tedious to complete, these are the activities that you could batch for a team member to do as they are not high-value activities?

  • Which tasks would be a good learning experience for your team member that you can easily teach?

How to successfully delegate:

Assess who is most suitable to complete the task. Part of being a good leader is understanding your employees' strengths, weaknesses, and preferences.

  • Provide resources and training where appropriate

  • Explain why you're delegating, what the task is, with clear instructions and expectations

  • Give them accountability to own the task and have the authority to make decisions where appropriate.

  • Review the work and provide feedback – positive or constructive so that they can learn and improve.

It may seem like an investment of time upfront, but in the long run, it will result in more time for you to focus on the more strategic elements of your role.

Happy delegating!

Written by Claire Gray

Claire Gray Consultant, Coach & Facilitator at Thriving Culture Claire is passionate about building high-performing teams and people so that they can thrive. She is an accomplished HR Consultant, Coach & Facilitator and has over 15 years of experience in Human Resources, Leadership & Organisational Development, and Change Management. Claire works with businesses on their People Strategy to develop their leadership capability, embed a purpose led-culture, and build a high-performing team. She holds a Masters of Business (Human Resource Management), a Bachelor of Behavioural Science, and is a certified Facet5 (personality assessment) practitioner. With over 600 coaching hours and accreditation with the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership, Claire works with clients as an Executive/ Leadership coach, career and small business coach.

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