Some people tend to think of delegating tasks as a way to free up some of their time.
While delegating does achieve this, it also empowers others to take ownership of their responsibilities; this, in turn, can strengthen the camaraderie of the team.
But how comfortable are we with delegating tasks to others?
On Episode 149 of the podcast this week, I talk with Susan, an overwhelmed mom of four, teacher and caregiver of her ill mother.
We chat about the steps she’s already taken to start delegating and how she can continue to delegate even further without feeling like she’s nagging.
During our chat, I emphasize the importance of creating a shared vision, setting expectations, and mapping out exactly what those expectations look like to those around us.
So today, I want to take my discussion with Susan further by exploring how we can delegate effectively at work, even when we’re not the boss.
Let’s get started!
Here’s the thing about delegating: it doesn’t always need to come from the person in complete charge!
Most bosses (myself included) would likely say that they are happiest when their team takes the initiative on big projects.
So, the very first step as you’re calling your delegation meeting to order is to define what needs delegating.
What is the project or task that needs all hands on deck?
What could your team work together on so time spent at the office is as productive as possible?
If you want others on your team to be as invested as you are on a project that’s coming down the pipes, then it’s crucial to communicate why it’s vital.
How does collaborating on the completion of the project or task benefit everyone in the office?
Be clear on why delegating some aspects of the project you’re proposing is essential.
The more you’re able to justify your reason for delegating, the easier it is for your team to get on board.
Each person on your team has different strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to keep this in mind as you dive into the nitty-gritty of what delegating a project or task entails.
As you’re running your delegation meeting, call upon those in attendance to determine what delegatable elements of the project they feel most comfortable taking on.
Maybe someone on your team is better at organizing or design. Perhaps there’s someone else who works well with numbers, and so on.
Whatever the case, make sure that what you’re delegating plays well within the strengths of your team members (including yourself).
But don’t be afraid to assign your team members a task to challenge them here and there!
Remember: working outside of your comfort zone bodes well for your growth overall, both personally and professionally.
Assign appropriately, but don’t hesitate to spice things up within reason once in a while too!
If you have many moving parts to a specific project, creating a map can help your team (and the work to be done) come together easier.
How has the project unfolded previously?
Use that experience to your advantage by creating a new map outlining all aspects of the project, including your expectations of what tasks look like when they’re checked off.
Be sure to note where each step gets completed on the map so that your team has an idea of where their tasks fall.
The clearer you are on what completing the project at hand might look like, the easier it will be for everyone on your team to take ownership of their share of the responsibility.
Lastly, when does the project need to be finished?
Use some time during your delegation meeting to determine a reasonable deadline that works with everyone.
If there are any real kinks, or confusion that needs to be addressed before the deep work begins, use this collaboration time to iron out the details.
Again, the clearer you are, the easier delegating tasks to your colleagues on a shared project will be, no matter where you stand on the company ladder!
How do you use delegation to your advantage at the office? Share any tips and tricks you have up your sleeve in the comments below.
Also, check out Episode 149 of Productivity Paradox this week to hear even more about Susan, and how our conversation about delegating at home unfolded . . .
And don’t forget to grab your copy of my FREE Delegation Download today, so that you can create more free time for yourself in your day at home AND at work!