Delegating is one of the most important management skills a public relations professional can have. Effective delegating saves time, develops employees professionally, prepares a successor and motivates team members. Below we have outlined 10 tips to being an effective delegator.
1. Make time for planning and organization: It can be difficult when you are carrying a heavy workload. Delegating keeps you from spreading yourself too thin and burning out. Remember that delegating is not a sign of weakness.
2. Build your own confidence and trust in employees: The mindset of “you must do everything yourself if you want it to be done right” is not effective. It takes confidence to delegate. Trust that team members are fully capable of getting the assignment done. Fear, hesitation, control issues and perfectionism only make the team less effective, less productive and less successful.
3. Maintain a growing and thriving organization: Delegating assignments can be used to develop team members. Developing your team members through delegation and helping them learn new skills provide your organization with more qualified and trained personnel.
4. Encourage communication: It is important to remain open for questions. If a team member is unsure of what needs to be done on an assignment, make sure that you make yourself available to explain it until they understand. It is also important to check in with team members to make sure that they are comfortable with assigned tasks.
5. Focus on outcomes, not the process: Another team member may do the job differently that you would. Let go of some control, as they could show you a better alternative way. Delegating provides an opportunity for new and different ideas and approaches.
6. Be clear on directions and deadlines: Make sure that you can explain the assigned task and talk through important points that need to be addressed. Outline what needs to be accomplished and provide a clear deadline.
7. Build trust: When assignments are delegated to team members, they feel empowered to accomplish the tasks and it will drive them to succeed. Team members find it gratifying when their managers believe in their ability.
8. Allow employees to contribute: Team members have pride in doing something that makes a difference and when they contribute significantly to the team. As employees gain experience and take on more responsibilities they can move on to higher assignments.
9. Check in, don’t hover: Ask employees how they are doing and how the assignment is going. Let this be a learning process for employees and give them space. Micro managing is not an effective management and a major impediment.
10. Support: Feedback on results of a delegated assignment is essential to let the team member know how they are doing, and whether they have achieved their aims. Praise good work. If they have not successfully completed the assignment, review why things did not go as planned.
As the New Year begins, focus more on effective delegating and work smarter, not harder!