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Nov 7 2017

4 Tips for Masterful Delegation


Know one of the hallmarks of a great leader? Knowing what to delegate. It can feel intimidating to relinquish control of a task to a less-experienced employee—especially if their results reflect on you. Not to mention, it can always be a little hard to give up the reins when you genuinely enjoy a project or have been heading it for a long time.

But without delegating, you won’t be nearly as effective. There’s a set number of hours in the day; to maximize them, it’s critical to focus on the highest-impact projects. That requires setting aside ones that aren’t as important or demanding to your reports. Plus, delegation gives them a chance to learn and grow.

Ready to learn which projects to pass on? Here are our top four tips.

1. You’ve mastered it

Can you do this task in your sleep? It’s probably time to pass the baton. After all, you’re no longer developing as a professional from doing it. The person who takes over, however, will definitely have to flex new muscles to figure everything out (just as you had to the first time.)

Although they might not do a perfect job right away, be patient. Teaching them is a matter of hours or weeks; you’ll gain that time back once they’re up and running.

2. It’s no longer part of your job description

Are you still handling projects from your former role? Let your replacement have a turn. That’s what they were hired or promoted for, so even though it might feel like you’re being considerate by continuing to manage it, you’re actually prohibiting them from fully stepping into the role.

In addition, consider what would happen if you unexpectedly took a leave of absence or left your job. The person responsible for executing that task would be relatively incapable of doing it (or at the very least, ill-prepared). Make sure your team can work in your absence, and train the new coworker.

3. There’s not enough time

Struggling to tick off every item on your to-do list—not just one or two days per week, but every day? That’s a sure sign you’re trying to do too much and need to delegate. In this case, there may not be any activities that are clearly ideal for offloading onto someone else. Take a look at your recurring tasks, and ask yourself whether your skills, knowledge, or internal connections are necessary for getting them done. If a coworker can learn how to complete any (even if the results won’t be quite as good as yours for a while), think about delegating that one.

4. You’re holding people up

Do your coworkers struggle to get things done because they’re waiting for you? Avoid becoming a bottleneck and delegate.

For example, perhaps you’ve asked your direct reports to send you their PowerPoint slides for review before they present them. The problem is, you usually don’t have time to look them over for a couple days…and this means your reports have to repeatedly follow up to get their slides back in time. Ask another colleague to review the slides for you, or even let your reports do peer reviews.

About Signature Consultants, LLC

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the ninth consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is named the 15th Largest IT Staffing Firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 29 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit https://www.sigconsult.com. Signature Consultants is the parent company to Hunter Hollis and Madison Gunn.

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