The best way to get ten times more accomplished is to create ten of you. Sound impossible? By delegating tasks properly, you can actually create a better skilled and supportive staff. It may take more of your time to delegate properly than doing the task yourself, but the pay off is handsome in the long run. You will benefit by creating a more supportive staff that can take the load off of you and free up your time for things that only you can do.
Here are some important steps in delegating properly and empowering staff.
Tell them why you chose them for the project (obviously you have confidence) – It pays to empower someone while giving them another task. What holds people back from success and feeling fulfilled with their jobs is not stepping out of their comfort zone and taking on new challenges. Delegating a new task or role can be motivating for someone who has been told why they were chosen for the job.
Let them do it their way – ‘There is more than one way to skin a cat’ they say, which also carries true when delegating to staff. Give staff the opportunity to use their own method of getting the job done. If you already have a system in place, teach delegates your system and what has worked for you and why, while offering them the opportunity to add their own intelligence if they feel they can improve on anything.
Be clear about expected results and deadlines – By being clear about the end result, you are setting important guidelines for success. The person you are delegating to will benefit by beginning the project already able to picture the end result in their mind.
Communicate boundaries – Let your delegates know the boundaries of what is acceptable or not acceptable in getting to the end results and explain why. Often taking the communication a little further to explain why things need to be done a certain way helps people understand the system as a whole and see the big picture of why the methods of doing things is important. Boundaries go two ways, so be sure to let your delegate communicate back to you and ask questions. Listen carefully to them so that they feel understood and are comfortable with the level of support that they are getting from you.
Set up scheduled checkpoints – This is where we set people up for success or failure. If you don’t check someone's progress, only to find out later about all of the errors made, you can damage their confidence, waste a lot of time and money, and ruin what could have been a great set-up for a new delegated skill. It is important that you both know in advance when the check points will happen, and hold to the commitment.
Give feedback – When you review progress regularly, both parties can celebrate the successes and correct any issues requiring further training or attention along the way. This is your opportunity to recognize the positive aspects of the new arrangement, offer suggestions for further improvement, and leave the employee feeling motivated to continue to strive for excellence.
Using these steps, I can promise you that, after investing your time in proper delegation, your tasks will most likely be done even better than they were done before and your time will be more liberated to spend as you wish.
Delegate and give the gift of doing. Auxiliary staff training, team building sessions and better performance planning all take time away from production for a short time, but the pay off is extraordinary.
Leadership Skills Multiply Performance
Fact: People are hired for their technical skills, but fired or stuck in a dead – end career due to their lack of leadership skills.
Continued professional development education will enhance productivity, boost performance as well as ensure employee retention. As competition for the best employees becomes more intense, the need for both personal and professional leadership skills becomes very valuable to employees and employers alike.
Recent research from the Centre for Creative Leadership shows that people are hired for their technical skills, but fired for their lack of leadership skills. Even worse, if an employee is not fired for their lack of leadership (or soft skills) they can certainly cause tension and roadblocks in an organization’s positive flow of business. I am without a doubt in agreement with these findings.
For example, an employee is hired for their education, experience and ability to perform a particular set of skills in your organization, but their lack of personal leadership skills prevents them from positively interacting with their team-mates, serving customers in a way that will ensure a lasting relationship, or climbing the corporate ladder to maintain a future with the company.
Leadership is about relationships, and credibility is the foundation of all relationships. Personal leadership requires self-knowledge. Education in personal leadership is a type of “unfreezing” which leads to determining what you really care about, setting goals and taking action to improve. If people can “learn how to learn” from their own experiences, as well as their colleagues, mentors and coaches to be their personal best in the workplace and in their personal lives, they become productive and make very effective contributions.
My advice when consulting with an organization to boost performance, productivity and profitability is always some form of education. Let’s face it, the only way to get better than you are, is to become better educated. If managers are apprehensive to spend money training employees that may leave the organization, I indicate to them that even worse than training people and having them leave, is not training them and having them stay.
Regardless of the industry, personal skills are the multipliers of performance. You are the vehicle which transports service, and like a car, your vehicle needs regular tune-ups, fuel and proper maintenance for good performance.
I encourage you to make education a priority when motivating your people, and specifically, focus on leadership skills as the foundation of which all other education can be used effectively. For example, a time management program would be best implemented if an employee first has the skills to make and keep commitments. The foundation of personal leadership skills must be present to build a solid technical skill set upon.
What if YOUR organization was made up of people who …
· Make and keep commitments
· Face each day with a positive attitude
· Persist until they succeed
· Capitalize on their strengths
· Manage time to get results
· Master their emotions
· Overcome obstacles and challenges
· Find ways to multiply their value a hundredfold
· See needs and take action
· Seek guidance
More importantly, what can you do to build these skills in yourself and your workplace?
Consider the impact that this learning will have on you, your team, and your organization.
Your partner in education.