Delegation is a cornerstone of effective business management, here's our top tips...
As much of the world deals with new challenges of escalating COVID-19 cases and the implications of going back into a locked-down status, a renewed look at our ability to delegate tasks provides hope for our achievements. Delegation is a cornerstone of effective business management. This can be internal, for companies with staff, or external for those that rely on a network of support to maintain order. The distance that we have experienced this year from staff and support teams has caused many to reevaluate their ability to delegate. But unlike the challenges earlier in the year, we have learned a great deal that allows us to be more successful in delegating during a time of distance. Still, this can be difficult to achieve mostly because delegation is still a very human task.
The average worker taking time away from work, especially those in leadership positions, has declined in recent years. 2020 has proven to be an unfortunate catalyst that has given natural excuses for not taking time away. One of the most critical components of delegation during a time of distance is to have trust in confidence enough to be able to step away. Now, this challenge amplifies when there is no place to step away, but the time of decompression is what to focus on. But how do we gain this trust in order to succeed in a time of disconnect?
Most people delegate tasks individually. When we want to have a break from business, we assign out responsibilities that will maintain order while we are away and are easily reincorporated upon return. But those who delegate most efficiently don’t focus on the tasks but on the result of the tasks. Remember, delegation is about achievement but is done by humans. Humans, by nature, are characteristically unique, and therefore the way they achieve a task may be different for each person. Those you delegate responsibility to might have a better methodology that works for them. The focus here is the outcome, not the task’s process.
So, what about after your time away? Does the delegation stop? Certainly not! Most business leaders argue that their most valuable and scarce resource is time. Once you begin to trust in your ability to delegate, you should feel confident delegating more and more to free up a greater amount of time. One way to do this is to not only delegate simple tasks but complex and time-consuming tasks too. Those you are delegating to, especially when in a distance environment, must work to gain your trust. So yes, it is natural to give them simple and attainable tasks to begin. But the goal should be to evolve your delegation development.
Okay, maybe you are someone who delegates responsibilities well, but it just doesn’t appear to be working. What can you do now? While many delegate tasks, then the more opportunistic delegators delegate results, but the most value comes from the delegation of critical thinking. Allowing people to develop their own strategic success for the necessary tasks is the pinnacle of delegation. Again, this comes with trust and confidence in those you are working with.
There will always be a rhythmic pattern to delegation. But distance doesn’t mean delegation stops. If anything, the more distant and isolated we become, the more necessary delegating responsibility is. Distance delegation should be attained, to some degree, by everyone in leadership. It allows for success development, growth, and marketplace mastery. The distance we face does not have to result in a disconnection of this practice.
A personal touch can still be received just by thinking outside of the box (or screen!).
- Seth Barnett
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