How do you delegate?

When you reach a certain level of responsibility at work, you get placed in the position to be able to delegate tasks to others. Odds are, you didn’t attain that level of status unless you have proven yourself to be really good at accomplishing certain tasks. That makes it all the harder to pass tasks off to someone else, who probably won’t complete them in the same way or with the same quality as you would have.

When delegating, there are two things you have to keep in mind. First, is this something the delegate can handle or is this a growth opportunity for them? Sometimes you have to delegate something you have time to do just so you can get the person below you some experience. Other times, you don’t want to overwhelm their workload and maybe your don’t give them something, give them something simple, or reverse delegate and take stuff off their plate for them.

Second, no matter how good the delegate is, they won’t do it the same way you would. That creates an opportunity for coaching so that the person does things better, but it also creates an opportunity for you to make a jerk of yourself. If you want something done a certain way, the only way to guarantee it gets done that way is do to it yourself. You have to give your delegate freedom to do things their own way to a point. Otherwise, they don’t grow.

You aren’t trying to create a copy of yourself, but give someone else experience. That works both ways, too. When you give someone else a chance at completing a task and they do it differently than you would have, maybe their way is better. In coaching someone, you can end up learning from them instead.


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