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  • Writer's pictureHouria Bellatif

Delegating: Hype or Necessity?

No leader can do it alone; a team is crucial for success. Even more important, each leader must trust the team members and need to feel comfortable delegating tasks to them.

Let us break things down and start by defining what it is. "Delegating" is assigning authority and responsibility to another person to carry out specific activities. There are two types of delegation:

  • Functional delegation occurs when projects or tasks are assigned to individuals or teams based on operational expertise.

  • Strategic delegation is when tasks or projects are assigned to teams or individuals depending on their role in achieving organizational goals.

Both types of "Delegation" are needed for effective leadership. Each allows others to use their skills and ideas to complete a task while the leader focuses on other matters. It also empowers team members, builds their confidence, and motivates them.

Delegation does not mean giving up control or abdicating responsibility. Leaders delegate authority but retain responsibility for ensuring the task is completed satisfactorily.

However, many people find delegating difficult. There are a few things that can get in the way of individuals delegating:

  • Fear of losing control. When you delegate a task, you are giving up some control over the outcome. This can be scary for some people who like to be in charge of everything.

  • Micromanagement. Leaders who delegate but then micromanage their team members send the message that they do not trust them to do the job correctly. This can lead to resentment and frustration on the part of team members.

  • Apprehension of becoming unsolicited. Individuals may feel that if they delegate, their team members will not need them anymore and are directly associated with the intrinsic desire for validation from others.

  • Lack of trust. If you don't trust the person you are delegating to, it can be hard to let go of any duty.

  • Delegate ineffectively. You may not know how to choose the right person for the task or how to provide adequate support.

Leaders take on more work when they do not delegate or do not delegate effectively. This can be the source of work burnout, stress and even resignation. One of the most challenging transitions for leaders is the shift from doing to leading. To be an effective leader, you must delegate tasks and trust that your team will complete them successfully. So, how do you delegate effectively?

  • Define the task – Be clear about what needs to be done and when it should be completed, and agree on what the result should look like.

  • Choose the right person – Delegate to someone with the skills and knowledge to complete the task successfully.

  • Establishing communication and visibility will result in increased trust.

  • Provide support – Once you delegate a task, provide any resources or information that the team member will need to complete it well.

  • Give feedback – After completing the task, give feedback to the team member on their performance. This will help them understand what they did well and what they can improve next time.

Delegating effectively can be challenging, but it's important to remember that delegation can empower team members, improve morale and motivation, and lead to better results when done correctly. What could you change to improve your delegating?

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