EPMEPM: Leadership

Trust in your team

Delegating can be a tough thing to navigate and master and often it’s the one thing separating a good leader from a great one. PM Academy trainer Kasey McDonald looks at why delegating is an intimidating process and offers her top tips for effective delegation.

For most people the trouble with delegating begins with relinquishing control.

It requires you to transfer some of your workload to someone else, trusting they will do it well and on time, all the while knowing accountability remains with the delegator – that’s you.

Most of the world’s esteemed leaders are experts at delegating.

Entrepreneur Richard Branson says it best: “You need to learn to delegate so you can focus on the big picture. It’s a fairytale to think you can do everything by yourself.”

With that said, a big part of being an effective leader is being able to determine which tasks are suitable for delegation and which tasks are not.

This can be tricky at first, especially if it feels like none of your tasks can be delegated.

When you feel none of your tasks can be delegated, try breaking them down into the skills required.

Here are my eight points for effective delegation to help support growth and performance within your team:

1 Relinquish control

When you hand over the task give the person complete responsibility for doing it.

In other words, try your hardest not to watch over their shoulder or micromanage them.

This also increases the person’s motivation to complete the job to the best of their ability.

2 Match the skills

Examine the skills and capabilities of the person you’re delegating to and make sure they can complete it.

Don’t set them up to fail.

From a long-term perspective, they may need some training to get them to the point where they can take over that task with competence.

Examine the skills and capabilities of the person you’re delegating to and make sure they can complete it. Don’t set them up to fail.

3 Set expectations

Give examples of what the results should look like and why those results are desired.

Ask when the results will be accomplished and who else could aid the person.

Also look at what kind of resources the person has to work with.

4 Creative freedom

Allow the person to complete the task as they choose, as long as the desired result is achieved.

Set a timeline but also let the person have some input as to the completion date.

For example, ‘When do you feel you could accomplish this by?’

5 Outline objectives

It doesn’t matter what type of task you’re delegating, make sure you take the time to clarify all objectives for the task.

Doing so can minimise miscommunication.

6 Milestones

Request status updates from the staff member.

These reports should describe what they have accomplished so far and what still needs to be completed in the required time frame.

7 Don’t take over

If you are not satisfied with the progress, do not take over and complete the task yourself.

Continue to work with the person and identify the cause of your dissatisfaction.

For example, is there a lack of communication, training, resources or commitment on their side?

8 Continuous evaluation

Evaluate the achievement of desired results, more than the methods the staff member uses, and appreciate everyone’s working styles.

Address insufficient performance and reward successes on an ongoing basis.

Most of us fear delegating in our careers as it means relying on another person to execute the task.

On the flip side, some can fall into the trap of delegating and resting on their laurels, which can bring about their demise.

Delegating effectively is an important skill to develop, especially in the property industry where no two days are the same and resources are often stretched.

The sooner you start to take on greater workloads, manage and delegate accordingly, the sooner you’ll grow and prosper.

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