Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Delegation. Why and How.

Delegation is a major skill that every manager or leader should master. Delegation is one of the main factors that result in great success not just in your business but in managing your life and family relations. unfortunately many people lack the delegation skill which makes them lose a lot of time, money and opportunities that they would have benefit from.

Delegation is a skill that needs practice, managers need to have confidence assigning tasks to their subordinates, and they have to accept failures but that doesn’t mean to quit delegation and go back doing everything yourself again. No, it just means to take a step back and learn what went wrong ? what they learned from this trail that they shouldn't do it in the next trail.

Delegation is one of the top challenging skills that managers take time to acquire and it is definitely worse it. One of the main benefits of delegation is having time to think of strategic decisions, because working on tactics and technical tasks always leads to the loss of the overall vision so they manager will feel that he is making progress while he is moving in the wrong direction in the first place.

Some other benefits for delegation are
  1. Develop your team skills and experience
  2. Increase your team efficiency and effectiveness especially if you are not good at certain tasks.
  3. Have more time to focus on other strategic decisions.
  4. Makes the best out of your time and skills

Why Managers don’t delegate.

Most managers lack such skill and they have a lot of fake excuses not to delegate tasks, some of these fake excuses are
  1. It takes more time to explain the delegated task
  2. There are things I should not delegate.
  3. My employees are already busy working on ......
  4. My employees are not ready to accept more responsibility
  5. Employee mistake can be costly
  6. My Employees lack the required knowledge and experience

I am not going to provide a response for each of these reasons but I am going to state some of the real reasons behind such fake excuses.

The main first reason is the fear of losing power, some managers feel that when they delegate their tasks to their subordinate, they will have nothing to do and then they become dispensable, and so, someone else may take their job.

Another main reason related to the feel is power, is the idea of sharing knowledge. All human consider knowledge as a source of power and if I share all I had, I will have no power so they don't delegate some of theirs tasks to make sure no one knows their way of doing things and so they feel important “I am the only one who can do that >:)“.

There are other reasons such as the lack of trust in their subordinates, so managers fear that tasks won’t be done in the right way “his way”. Some managers also feel the lack of control over their subordinates, especially if they are abroad, so they fear un-expected results while some other managers don’t have enough self confidence to think they can direct others. Some managers don’t delegate because they fear that their bad management skill would become clear against his colleagues, so they try to hide.

It is clear that managers need to get over these fears because it will block your way towards success.

Now lets discuss what you should delegate, well, if possible try to delegate everything but that can’t be always the case, so at least you should delegate tasks that
  1. Recur every once and while.
  2. Are not critical to you and someone else have the knowledge to do it.
  3. You are not good at.

And finally I would like to give a couple of tips for every managers going to delegate some of his work to his subordinates
  1. Make sure to regularly check the progress and don’t just wait for end results.
  2. Don’t accept incomplete work and complete it yourself, because that will cost more time and effort and you are sending a wrong message to your subordinate that “it is ok to deliver in-complete work”.
  3. Make sure your subordinate has the time availability and the required knowledge before handing over tasks to him.
  4. A simple training or just more detailed explanation for the requirement can be very helpful for your subordinates to know what they should do and will save you time checking his work when he is done.

Finally, delegation is just one skill that managers should master and not the only one, and don’t expect any of these skills to be easy, so a general advice would be to try it, expect failure and build your self confidence one small step after another till you master these skills.

Looking forward for your comments, Thanks