On our management training programmes, lots of busy managers tell me they want to take control of their time, to do more with their time, and, most important, see results. But, they also say, this isn’t happening because there is simply too much to do in too little time. Interestingly, these same people are also often reluctant to delegate.
Effective delegation comes brings you a fresh pair of eyes and encourages new ideas or a different approach. It helps your staff to grow and develop through tackling new kinds of work and approaches. And of course, it frees you up to move other work forward.
But if delegation is so great, what’s stopping us doing it? When I ask the busy managers, they tell me:
It’s true, you need to weigh up the risk to you, your colleague or the project/task if something goes wrong, and only then decide whether it’s appropriate to delegate. If the risk is low or can be mitigated, then delegate. Find ways to make it safe, with plenty of reviews and check-ins.
In the short term this may be the case, but keep in mind the longer-term benefits when someone is up to speed. If this is a task you do on a regular basis, delegate it – you are likely to gain the time back quickly and save yourself time in the long run.
Wrong! This means you found the right person for the job – and reflects well on your ability as a manager to lead others to get the best result.
Don’t let these worries stop you getting the real benefits of delegation: development, learning – and time. At =mc we use a simple tool to help you identify what you can’t delegate, what you can delegate and what you should delegate.
Take a piece of paper and draw three circles like the ones below. Then:
Use this tool to figure out what you can delegate – and then make a delegation plan. Learn to swim, not drown.
Come along to our Emerging Managers Programme to find out more about how to delegate, as well as a range of other skills to help you become a more effective manager. If you’re keen to learn more tools to manage your time more effectively, then Managing Multiple Priorities is for you. And we’ve just announced a new pop-up date – 7 August in London. Visit the Managing Multiple Priorities page for details and to book.
To talk to us about particular challenges you’re having with delegating, managing or any other aspect of your role, call 020 7978 1516 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Or if you'd prefer to speak to someone, call 020 7978 1516.
Clare Segal, Director