Management Monday: Delegation
Let’s be honest – most of us avoid delegating because it’s simply easier and quicker to do something ourselves. As well as saving the time we would need to spend explaining the task to someone else, keeping it to ourselves allows us to ensure it is done in the exact way we want. Handing things over to other people allows them to interpret the instructions and produce a different result at the end.
However, as good managers we ought to consider this carefully. Is it necessarily a bad thing to allow someone else to interpret our ideas and perhaps do something we had not expected? Their fresh approach may actually be of benefit to the project.
On top of that, delegation is essential to our own sanity. If we hold on to every little task, not only will the rest of the team become bored and frustrated, but we’re likely to struggle to stay on top of our workloads.
It’s really important to know which tasks can be passed on and which really do need our personal attention. If you know you need to delegate more, try selecting a task which you think will suit one of your employees. If it’s complex, there’s no harm in checking in with them at an early stage to ensure they are on the right track. For example, if you’ve asked someone to set up a new system for patient records, you could look over the database in its early stages before they begin filling in all the details.
Once you’re happy, leave them to get on with it – don’t be tempted to interfere as they go along because that will defeat the purpose of handing it over in the first place.
Finally, remember that if they get it wrong, it’s not their fault. No matter how clear the instructions, we all interpret things differently. However, with practice, they’ll learn to understand you better and you’ll learn to be clearer in the first place. It’s worth persevering if you want to share your workload more effectively.
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