Delegation: Steps 3 and 4. Once you’ve decided what to delegate and have used my questions to improve how you delegate, there are 2 more steps. [Miss the first blog? It’s here.]
#3 After delegation
Back away ….yet watch closely. Here is how.
- Stick with the guidelines you gave and wait.
- Let go of the process. Let go of control.
- Manage it; don’t abdicate responsibility. Manage versus control.
You have standards. I do as well. You’re proud of your high standards. So am I. But realistically, how could you expect anyone to meet your high standards, first time out of the gate?
You can’t. Don’t lower your expectations, but understand that achieving these standards will take time and practice, both for the person doing the work, and for you, teaching what you know. It’s a process.
- So think carefully about your parameters. Let go of how the job gets done. Support at important points. Think about what’s an acceptable “first time” standard that needs to be met.
- Acknowledge the work itself, the attitude, the adherence to parameters, the teamwork, the working relationship with you and ideally, any improvements introduced.
- And if feasible, why not let the person know what you had time to do, because of how he or she contributed.
#4 And when something goes wrong (And it will.)
Look first at your process. Figure out if there is something you need to do better. Most people are willing to let you enlist their talents or time.
Consider what may have happened:
- The person didn’t ask questions or get direction when he should have. Try teaching this again. Some will accept what you need and learn this well. Some will not, but you need several instances to know.
- If instructions were not followed, what was missed? Ask about it, acknowledging what did go well, too.
- The sooner you say something, the easier it will be to point out what is not working for you, long before frustration, guilt, or annoyance enter the picture.
- Priorities: Not knowing how to set them, or how to reset them when something else lands is a problem for many people.
- Practical issues: tools, education/skill issue; or the person needs a different way of learning the task, or perhaps is not quite the right fit for the job after all.
“The master delegator” was an occasional name for me during my corporate career. I was clear on what I did and did not know, and then building expertise, in a team, to support our clients or products, in my different roles. And each time I’ve taken on a leadership role in my current volunteering, I’ve learned something new about working with others, working on a team, enlisting and delegation.
P.S. We all delegate. Are you care giving? Running a household? Running a business or working ? Then delegation is a skill you need.
If you are curious, call or email me at 603.554.1948 Sue@CoachSueWest.com to have a 1/2 hour, no charge call. We focus entirely on your question you want to work on. Any discussion of continuing work together is after the call, so the whole time is for you.
In coaching, when we work on a focused topic such as this, a common length of time we would work together is 2-3 months, generally twice a month, practice in between. The practice is what makes a skill stick, and helps you with insights and awareness about yourself which contribute to your success.