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Learning to Delegate

Many new managers and supervisors find it a strange new experience. Instead of just being responsible for your work, now you are responsible for the work done by others. There is a strong tendency to have little faith in other’s abilities and sometimes even less in your own ability to manage others and get things done. For some, the easiest thing to do is retreat back to the familiar and do everything ourselves. While this may work or appear to work in the short run, in the long term it is a sure path to disaster.

Being able to successfully delegate work and ensure that it is done with a minimum of fuss is crucial for any management role. Managers and supervisors are not measured based on their individual contributions but on the contributions of their team. So, even if you put in the longest hours, if your team is going nowhere you are in trouble!

So how do you learn to delegate successfully?

  • Take enough time in the initial conversation to ensure yourself and your team member that he or she can do the task
  • Agree on deadlines and details from the outset
  • Have regular meetings for progress reports, questions and support (TRY NOT TO HOVER)
  • Share information (this goes for both of you)

There are probably only another handful of management skills more critical to your personal and professional success than learning to delegate. There is much more to delegating than meets the eye. It does not mean to simply hand out assignments. It is a science and an exercise in understanding one's self.

Leave your tips in the comments.

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