According to a
survey of 3,200 administrative professionals, "delegating meaningful
tasks" is one of the top ten most desired qualities in a manager
Yet so few bosses
know how to delegate effectively.
Why? Many fear
that if something goes wrong, they'll be responsible. A client recently
admitted to me, "If I am going to get hung by a mistake, let
it be mine and not someone junior." However, when you delegate,
you get more done, work less hours and produce more. Just as important:
you can help others learn and develop.
Here are six simple
tips to help you capitalize on this important skill:
1. Step back
and take a hard look at your calendar and inbox.
Examine all your tasks, conference calls and meetings for the upcoming
week. Which of these are candidates for delegation? Some may be
lower priority items. Others might present learning opportunities
for someone in your work group.
2. Why delegate
when you can eliminate?
You may discover that some of your tasks or meetings are unnecessary.
So why pawn them off on someone else when you can simply scratch
them from your "to-do" list?
3. Know the
difference between "dumping" and "delegating."
Assume that most people want additional responsibilities.
But, like the aforementioned study found, they want "meaningful
set someone up to fail.
When you delegate a task, make sure the person is capable of performing
it successfully. For example, you'd like to unload some of your
budget responsibilities, but no one in your group has the skills
to take on the work. Mention this opportunity when you conduct your
regular appraisals. One of your subordinates might have an interest
and be willing to schedule the required training.
the person you are delegating to.
Communication is critical. If they understand the impact their work
has on the company, they will buy into and be more committed to
the assignment. Also, show them what they are learning and the importance
of it. Lastly, think about what are the motivating factors for each
person (career, money, power, success, etc).
The average office worker spends 49 minutes managing his or her
e-mail each day. And executives spend as much as four hours! It's
no wonder that smart bosses are delegating this time-draining task
to their subordinates. According to one survey, 26 percent of administrative
assistants screen their executives' incoming e-mail and 43 percent
ghostwrite responses under their bosses' names.
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