I just finished reading "If You Want It Done Right, You Don't Have to Do It Yourself!" by Donna Gennet. I think you'll find this book to be an outstanding resource as a leader. The content in this book has been a value of mine for years, so it made me feel like I'm doing something right:) Here's a synopsis of the book. Enjoy!
For the past fifteen years I have coached executives to achieve their peak potential. These managers came to me with diverse agendas and goals. The problems they (or their organizations) presented to me have been as varied as their job titles. At some point in the coaching process, I inevitably came to teach each of them how to improve their delegation skills. Each student of this process was grateful, relieved, and eager to try it out.
There are six steps to e effective delegation.
Step One: Prepare beforehand. Sort through the work you have, separating those projects you wish to delegate from those that you yourself wish to complete. Ask yourself these questions: What, exactly, do you expect? What should the end results look like? Being prepared before you delegate will make you feel more confident.
Step Two: Clearly define the task to be completed. Be specific. Ask the delegate to repeat the information back to you to ensure that he or she fully understands what you’re requesting.
Step Three: Clearly outline the time frame within which the delegate must complete the delegated task.
Step Four: Define the level of authority the delegate is to use with this task. There are three different levels of authority:
* The Authority to Recommend. Research options and propose the best alternative. Use this level when you want input before making a decision.
* The Authority to Inform and Initiate. Research and select the best course of action, inform you why it is best, then initiate the selection. Use this level when you want someone to inform you before he or she takes action so you can intercept potential problems.
* The Authority to Act. Grant the full authority to act with respect to the task or project. Use this level when you are con dent of someone’s capabilities and the risks are minimal.
Make sure that the people to whom you delegate understand the level of authority with which they are to operate.
Step Five: Identify checkpoints when you will meet with the delegate to review progress and offer guidance, if needed. Schedule these meetings frequently at first, then taper off as you see the task being mastered.
Step Six: Hold a debriefing session to discuss what went well, what could have been improved, and what has been learned. Ask for an impression on each point, and share yours. This will shift you from boss mode to coach mode. You want to identify areas for growth, reinforce growth that has already happened, and applaud successes. You can also use the debriefing to outline clearly areas of below-par performance and clarify your expectations and suggestions for improvement. This is actually one of the most valuable steps in the whole process. In the long-term and even in the short-term it makes your job easier and helps things run more smoothly. Generally, it makes people feel good. This step also helps when performance review times arrive. Make notes on everything so it is all documented and dated.
These steps work not only for tasks that you delegate, but also for tasks that are delegated to you. When receiving tasks, make sure to ask four questions:
- What are the desired results for this project?
- What is the time frame for completion?
- What is my level of authority?
- When are my checkpoints for review?
Answering these four questions will give you a greater opportunity to succeed in completing the tasks that have been delegated to you.
Successful delegation will transform your workplace from one of avoidance to one of teamwork. You will find your workday becomes more efficient. Delegation will give you more time and allow you to focus on what is most important. It will allow your people to grow in capability and confidence while you are able to develop and coach them. It will create opportunities to provide recognition while allowing for clear documentation of poor performance. Most importantly, it will ensure successful results!
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