How to delegate

A question that comes up in most every conversation that I have with clients is “How can I better develop my people absent a budget for a formal program?” In my mind, the answer is fairly simple, delegate a responsibility to them that would be a great development opportunity. One of the first things I ask people during a Delegation session is this, “Write down your top 3 time takers -but with the following criteria: You like doing it, you are good at it, and it is important to the organization.” Then I ask them if these three items are something that only they, or someone in their position could or should be doing? Almost every time, the answer is a resounding “No”. Which begs the question, “Why are they still doing these things?”

I get it, as stressful as the work world can be, it’s nice to have something on your plate that you actually enjoy doing. But at what cost? While you might enjoy doing it, what other, more strategically important, responsibilities do you not have time to address because of this one? Who else might benefit, developmentally, from having exposure to this responsibility? How might delegating this responsibility positively impact engagement, productivity, innovation, inclusiveness, and more?

Now some of you are thinking to yourself, “How might delegating something that I actually like doing work to reduce my stress?” Simple, most people I ask say that they are stressed because they don’t have enough time to work on the really important things that they know they should be working on. More of the strategically important things.

While some things may bring you joy, are they really the ones that you want more time to work on and that will help drive success for your organization? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. That’s ultimately for you to decide. Which is a very important conversation to have with yourself!

We recently posted an infographic speaking to stress and how to manage it at work. Delegating was clearly one of the recommended solution actions.

I’m certainly not advocating that you delegate any and all things that bring you joy. I am asking you to closely consider which things you need to be owning and which ones would make for a great development opportunity for someone else. The problem is that we rarely look at delegation as a development tool. In the end, it’s one of the best ones at your disposal. IF you do it properly. We can help with that. Let us know how we can help.

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