Why do people struggle with delegation? Not because they don’t want to delegate, but because they are not taught how to delegate effectively.
Many leaders delegate activities rather than results and then micromanage the process. This micromanagement creates a lack of trust.
Effective delegation actually increases the amount of time you can allocate to high priority, non-urgent items. Take time on the front end and set things up properly so effective delegation is built into the culture of the organization.
3 Delegation Tips That Create Trust
- Create a culture of delegation. According to Stephen R. Covey, in his book “Principle Centered Leadership”, most people won’t take the time to explain, to train to commit. Dave Ramsey, author of EntreLeadership, states that you don’t start with delegation; you hire the right people and create the culture first. Lay the foundation for effective delegation.
- Create a culture of mutual trust. To delegate effectively there has to be a high level of trust and trustworthiness in the organization. Stephen M.R. Covey, author of “Smart Trust” states that nothing engages someone like being trusted.
- Delegate results not activities. When all you delegate is activities, buy-in is less likely. Covey states that Stewardship Delegation is the most powerful and effective form of delegation. Delegate the results you want and let the employees work within the guidelines you provide to achieve the results.
3 Delegation Tips That Build Results
- Declare your intent to motive (why) behind the (what). Explain why you are delegating, there are no hidden agendas. This makes it open and builds trust.
- Qualify expectations. Describe what winning looks like, this creates a no surprises effect.
- Have an accountability process. The employees will anticipate it, and, because it was mutually put together they will respect and trust it.
The Power of Trust
Trust is powerful. It’s also fast (see Covey’s book The Speed of Trust). It can be lost quickly. Trust is also reciprocal. If you give trust, it will be given back to you. According to Covey, delegation is a result of this trust.
What are some effective delegation methods that you have used / practiced? What advice would you give beginning leaders about delegation?