The common barriers to delegation.
The benefits of delegation.
The types of tasks that you should and should not delegate.
Now, you must decide which tasks you are going to delegate to which of your teammates. Before this is possible, you must know:
What the task entails.
The skills of your teammates.
The strengths of your teammates.
The weaknesses of your teammates.
At the end of this section, you should understand:
What to know about a person before delegating to them.
How to pick the right person for the task.
The next section will show you how to pick the right person for each delegation task by first knowing your desired objectives. The section following this one will explain what you need to know about your teammates in order to effectively delegate tasks to them.
1. Know Your Objectives
When first considering to whom you should delegate a task, you must weigh the following three objectives.
1. Short-term vs. Long-term Goals
Those leaders who think only with short-term goals in mind tend to pick the best person, but not the right person to whom to delegate. The right person is the one who will benefit most from the delegation. By focusing solely on direct results, you may pass over a chance to develop the skills needed in your teammates.
If you are up against a tight deadline, you may not have time to delegate a task to someone who needs some training. In this case, you will have to delegate the task to a conscientious teammate who can get the job done quickly and correctly.
Identify tasks which are not critical or urgent, and which can handle a few mistakes without causing serious problems. Delegate these tasks to teammates who need skill development.
By first understanding the task’s objectives, you will be able to pick the right person to whom to delegate the task. The next section will teach you how to assess the members of your team in order to know which tasks are best for each person.
Know Your Team Members
In order to delegate effectively, you must know your team members. The following 5 areas are important to assess in each of your teammates.
You must know your teammates abilities before knowing whether they are a good match for a delegation task. Will they need much supervision, training or support? What types of work do your teammates like and dislike? You should be able to answer these questions for each of your team members before trying to delegate.
Delegation often reveals your teammates strengths and weaknesses that may not have been apparent beforehand. As the LL2 leader learned, you must be prepared to give your teammates your support.
3. Development Opportunities
Know which areas your teammates need additional practice and expertise. Delegate tasks to those people so that they can achieve their developmental goals.
Keep track of your teammates’ workloads. If someone truly does not have enough time to complete a task adequately, delegate that task to someone who has a lighter workload.
You should delegate tasks even to teammates who resist accepting them. As a leader, it is your responsibility to define tasks within a person’s abilities and encourage them to develop their skills.
We have now covered the types of things you need to know about your teammates before delegating to them. In addition, we've created a worksheet to help you organize information about your teammates.
The following Key Points page will focus your attention on the most important aspects covered in this section.