I have previously shared how delegating portion of my job saved my head. I did not only finish the job on time but also efficiently fulfill the requirements of that job. Being able to effectively delegate is a virtue of good leaders and managers. For the knowledge workers, delegation is an effective tool for productivity. Delegation can become an arduous process if the loose ends are not properly tied together. Here are some tips to a hassle-free delegation.
Choose The Right People
You might be lucky if you can choose who to work with. If you are like most knowledge workers, your boss chooses your partner or partners. Choosing the right person for the job is critical. You might want to have a hand on choosing who to work with. Working on a common project with someone you’re not comfortable with can become a source of stress and can negatively affect your efficiency.
Define The Work
You must define the scope and description of the delegated tasks. Failing to do this can easily shatter the whole project. Make sure that you’re on the same page. A checklist of the tasks and the desired outcome is helpful in dealing with the preliminaries of the project. You must clearly communicate to the other person the bounds and parameters of the tasks being delegated.
Specify The Resources
Aside from defining the tasks, you must also provide the resources needed to finish the tasks. An advance research should help in this regard. You might have in your possession a list of materials and references related to the job. Determining all the necessary references and support materials prior to delegating is a critical factor in achieving a stress-free delegation. You should extend any possible help you could give to maintain a hassle-free process but not to the point of spoon-feeding the other person.
Suggest Course Of Actions
Since you might already have a good overview of how to accomplish the whole project, you should be able to suggest a good set of course of actions. Don’t sound as if you’re imposing your will. The other person might have different options or ways that he wants to implement. Avoid all unnecessary conflict at all times. You can only suggest but should not force your will to the other person.
You might not be able to answer all types of question regarding the project. This should be part of the research prior to delegation. You must have a list of people to ask for specific questions. The person you are delegating to must know who to ask for particular portion of the tasks. It is not uncommon to have different people involved in a single project.
Maintain Open Communication
Delegation doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. You are partly responsible for the delegated task. Both parties must always be on the same page and this does not happen without an effective communication. Communication style varies for different people. Some would prefer email over telephone and others the other way around. Both parties must agree on the mode of communication.
Don’t Be a PITA
Be appreciative of the help being provided to you. I think that’s a better way of looking at it – you’re being helped at the tasks that you can’t accomplish on your own. You owe the other person an appreciation for his willingness to help. Avoid being a PITA. Remember, micro-management is a PITA. So don’t do it.
I am sure that you already have delegated tasks to a co-worker. What steps have you taken to seamlessly work with the other person? What do you think is the most critical factor in delegating tasks?