Delegation can help you manage your time and balance your responsibilities effectively—as long as you’re careful to assign the right tasks to the right people. In my experience, delegating is also a great way to help other people develop their skills. Here are some tips to consider:
- Speed. Tasks with tight deadlines require individuals who can deal with pressure. This type of person can organize information, decide on strategy—and then stick to the plan. Someone who focuses on what is necessary is a better fit here than someone who wants to do everything possible, or gets stuck in the details to make it perfect.
- Collaboration. Tasks that demand cooperation among several individuals or groups call for someone who can see others’ perspectives. An employee who integrates the strengths of everyone involved is more valuable here than one who expects sole credit.
- Professional development. Some projects offer valuable leadership skill development for individuals who already have basic skills. An employee who excels in technical areas like sales or finance might benefit greatly from a chance to take a lead role and help colleagues apply their skills.
- Creativity. Tasks that require a new approach, such as developing products, can be especially hard to delegate. Consider pairing individuals with complementary styles and skills. For example, creating a new electronic publication may take a well-organized, open-minded individual to coordinate with subject experts to create content.
Judy Preston, owner of Skill Builders, motivates and inspires leaders, providing executive coaching and team building using Myers-Briggs Type and Strengths assessments. Training teams on MBTI and Strengths enables team members to understand themselves and others so working together is more comfortable and productive. Judy’s strengths include encouraging, guiding and developing individuals to become better leaders. She enjoys teaching about emotional intelligence, which is a cornerstone of effective leadership.
—Adapted from The Rookie Manager, by Joseph T. Straub (AMACOM)