Some definitions of management include the phrase ”getting things done through other people.” For example, Barack Obama talks about improving health care, but he probably won’t spend much time visiting hospitals or speaking with doctoros in the next few months; he will just make sure that the work gets done through his staff.
Most new managers often confuse delegation with organization so here is a simple guide. Organization means bringing people and things together to get the job done. On the simplest level it could be a team leader organising lunch breaks so that the office is covered over breaks or lunch time.
Of course organizing lunch breaks isn’t a good use of a manager’s time and so the key is to delegate some of the management functions. In this case, try to spend time making sure that staff can arrange their own breaks and lunch time coverage. Make sure the office coverage is fair and consistent.
Delegation means that a manager can ask a subordinate staff member to do part of the manager’s job without pay or necessarily wider recognition. So in the Barack Obama example; he will remain responsible (to the American people) but he has delegated the task of improving health care to people in his organizational team.
Delegating successfully is an essential skill for managers to master.
First, you must trust the person you are delegating the task to. It is not only important for you to trust them , but to have staff keep you posted as to progress. If you ask them to look at some online training, you must be able to trust that they haven’t been messing around on the internet looking at facebook or twitter.
And they need to be able to trust you as well.
Second, there are likely to be issues of skill level and training. You shouldn’t expect an untrained person to carry out a task beyond their skill level (you need to take into account safety considerations, experience, knowledge, etc…) You must not ask them to do something you couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to do.
Third, there is the art of selecting the right person. Not everyone is able or willing to do more than what is on their job description. A ‘jobs worth’ mentality can prevent some people from even entertaining the idea!
The good news is that if you learn how to to delegate successfully and find staff members to trust, it will feel like you have grown a new pair of hands. Things get done without you necessarily asking. From the staff members point of view, learning new skills and improving oneself is a good way to prepare for a promotion or career move.
Learning to delegate (or at least knowing the difference between delegation and organization) is an essential management skill to learn and practice.
Mariano M. Jauco has been empowering business professionals and individuals by sharing his knowledge to produce positive change in the world. His personal development techniques and methods will allow you to reach your goals and achieve the success and prosperity you deserve.