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5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Delegation Skills
5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Delegation Skills
Stephen Franklin avatar
Written by Stephen Franklin
Updated over a week ago

Delegating can often be challenging because it requires you to relinquish direct control and put your trust in others. It often requires you to let go of certain tasks that you might be more skilled at, leading to some feelings of impatience as your colleagues go through the learning process. However, delegating is an essential skill that all leaders and managers must develop. As the leader of your team, your primary responsibility is to develop your team and help them perform at their highest level. If too much of your time is focused on projects and tasks, you'll be robbing them of opportunities to develop skills and expertise and preventing the team from achieving their full potential. Luckily, there are also some strategies you can use to improve your delegation skills.

Here are five steps that will help you become an even better delegator and leader:

1) Understand why delegation is important

As a team leader, your main focus should be on developing your team and helping them reach their full collective potential. If too much of your time is focused on projects and tasks, you'll be unable to devote the time and attention necessary to lead your team effectively. You should be spending most of your time fostering teamwork and developing your people, not doing their work for them. Poor delegation may result in short-term benefits, but will greatly hinder the team's performance over the long term.

2) Make delegating a habit

One of the most important steps you can take to become a better delegator is to develop productive delegation habits. Before taking on any project or task yourself, pause and consider whether there's someone else who could be doing it instead. If it's not absolutely essential for you to be doing it, it should be a strong candidate for delegation. You will find that delegating these tasks or projects and then providing coaching and guidance to the team member is an effective method of developing your team.

3) Leverage your team's strengths and preferences

It's not only important to understand when to delegate but also how to delegate most effectively. Understanding the natural strengths, challenges, and preferences of yourself, your team members, and the team as a whole is critical for making effective delegation decisions. When you are mindful of these tendancies, you are able to make better-informed decisions on how tasks and projects are delegated allowing you to find the right balance of tasks that energize team members and play to their strengths and those that challenge them to improve on their weaknesses.

4) Use feedback to make adjustments

Frequently check in with team members to get their feedback on the work they are being assigned. This will not only allow you to gain a better understanding of a team member's preferences and approach to different types of tasks but will also help you identify opportunities to better develop them. Use this feedback to help to develop individual development goals and for future delegation decisions.

5) Use these coaching opportunities to develop your team's effectiveness

One of the main benefits of healthy delegation habits is that it gives you the means to identify and address development opportunities. If you are performing all the critical tasks or spending all your time heads down on tactical work, you'll have no time to identify these nor will you have time to take advantage of them. Instead, spending your time identifying the potential areas for growth and taking advantage of these learning opportunities to guide and coach will give your team the best opportunity to thrive and achieve their full potential.

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