To effectively manage your team, you have to master the art of delegation. As a leader, delegating is the single most important factor in managing your workload and keeping your sanity. Delegating isn’t an easy task and people that know how to do it make it seem easy. But in truth, delegating requires a lot of trust, communication, and coordination.

Here is a step by step guide on how to effectively delegate;

  1. Learn to let go: Most new leaders have a problem letting go and allowing others to do their work. They fear that nobody would be able to execute the project as effectively as they would. You can start by letting go of smaller tasks while you get to know your team better until you can eventually trust them enough to let go of more work.
  1. Figure out the best person for the job: As a leader, you should know your team members’ strengths and weaknesses. When looking for who to delegate a task to, look for and assign it to whoever has the greatest level of skills relevant to the task. Don’t be tempted to give it to the person with the lightest workload as most leaders would normally do. It’s also important to be consistent when delegating tasks; that means delegating the same kind of work to the same person so he or she becomes more skilled at that task.
  1. Include instructions: Don’t assume that the person being assigned the task knows what to do. If there is a specific way you like the task to be executed, then let the person know. If there is a deadline or milestone, include that information. Including all this information would eliminate any misunderstandings that could come from communication gaps and would allow your tasks to be completed effectively.
  1. Trust, but verify: Once you delegate a task to your team member, step back and allow them to execute it their way. This would give the person the freedom to tackle the task the way they feel is best. However, be sure to step in once in a while to verify that the task is moving on as planned. For example, you can send an email some days to the due date to verify that everything is on track and they haven’t hit any snags.
  1. Use feedback to improve delegation: Feedback is an important tool for effective delegation and it works both ways. If a team member executes a task assigned to them properly, be sure to let them know they have done a good job, praise, and acknowledge their efforts publicly. And if they fall below expectations, be sure to give constructive criticism. Also give room for your workers to share their thoughts on how you delegate, so you can know if you are giving enough information and if you are assigning the right task to the right people.

Delegation isn’t easy but the more you practice, the better you become at it and the easier your life gets. Realise that the process will never be perfect, but you can learn from your experiences and make adjustments for improvement.

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