How can I train myself to delegate

Delegate successfully - but correctly!

Let's start with the definition: Delegate means transferring tasks, responsibilities or competencies to others - usually the employees. Some find it extremely difficult with this delegation - out of uncertainty or overconfidence. For example, bosses who are terribly afraid of losing control. Or are too convinced of themselves, true to the motto: If you don't do everything yourself, it’s going to shit. Still others like to delegate and often - namely work and away from themselves. This makes life easier and also protects against mistakes. With the Art of delegation however, both variants have as much in common as this article does with a heart transplant ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Delegating successfully: why at all?

Delegating, also synonymous: handing over, entrusting, forwarding, transferring, outsourcing - why does that even make sense? Quite simply: Because none of us can do everything - neither at the same time, nor everything equally well.

Especially when it comes to delegation Many often take themselves too seriously. The thought that a task can only be best done by yourself is a trap. Because often there is no time for the really important things because you overload yourself with day-to-day business!

In short: Delegating helps to work more efficiently and effectively. Many managers are still able to work as a result. But also numerous employees.

who Submits tasks, benefits from it in several ways:

  • You can focus on more essential tasks focus.
  • Your results will be better because you use your powers focus.
  • But you will also get better because the work is now at its best Specialists is done for it.
  • Through well-thought-out delegation, you increase efficiency and, in parallel, the Motivation and communication supported.
  • You have less stress.
  • You train yours at the same time Social and leadership skills.

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Requirements for delegating

The realization that someone else could possibly solve the task better, however, sets the tone at the same time Courage and strength of character ahead. After all, behind this is the insight into one's own inadequacy.

This is exactly why delegating is so difficult for many (bosses):

  • They fear they see through it less competent out.
  • You think that The result will be worse.
  • You mean it takes too longto explain to others what they want.
  • You are afraid of that Losing control.
  • You fear that Losing overviewwhen you distribute tasks to different people.
  • You believe it goes fasterif you do it yourself.

Of course these are all just Assumptions and excuses - mostly vain too. And they rarely help, neither managers nor employees.

However, if you want to delegate successfully, you have to free yourself from it and give the delegates some discretion and decision-making leeway. Own Greatness, courage and trust - All three properties are essential and a mandatory requirement for the transfer of tasks or competencies.

Learn to delegate: 5 steps to delegate tasks

The delegation of tasks is still important, especially for young entrepreneurs, but also for employees who are new to the company new and unfamiliar. So far, the boss has done everything on his own, but now the work is growing too much and it has to be handed in.

It is therefore for the one a learning processwho for the first time assigns tasks to his employees. The delegation of tasks to a young professional is also an opportunity to open up new areas. When delegating, not only you as a manager learn about self-management.

If done correctly, delegating helps to keep employees working. Those who don't just transfer boring routine tasks demonstrate to their employees Appreciation and trust.

He gives them the opportunity to make their own Develop skills and competencies. To do this, you should ask yourself a few W questions beforehand:

  • What do you want to transfer?
  • How much do you want to delegate?
  • who should take over the tasks?
  • How does this person have to be trained extensively?

Especially when your employees are still do not estimate exactly can or have little experience in delegating, you will have to feel your way step by step and in the course of the process you will only be able to fully clarify the questions.

  1. Implementation of the tasks

    At this delegation level, the employee receives precise tasks that are implemented one-to-one. You do not need to make your own efforts, as the manager provides all the necessary information.

  2. Familiarization with topics

    At this stage, the employee becomes more familiar with the topic. The first ideas for alternatives may already come up. This stage can coincide with the following.

  3. Suggestions on topics

    In the third delegation level, the employee is much more confident, you should now be able to expect more detailed elaboration of alternatives for certain topics. In this step he should also be able to explain why he intends to implement certain procedures in one way and not another.

  4. Controlled decisions

    In the penultimate stage, your employee will already make their own decisions. The procedure is then discussed in a joint conversation.

  5. Decisions without control

    The last stage is the desirable goal of delegating: Your employees enjoy your complete confidence, so that they can make decisions on their own without any subsequent feedback.

Important: Even in the last steps, superiors should always be available as a contact person for any questions and problems. The higher the stage in the delegation - especially in the last two stages -, of course, the greater the relief for the manager.

However, when delegating, it should always be borne in mind that not all tasks can be equally well distributed among the employees. Employee A may reach the last level on a project, employee B only the third. So it applies to every employee to be picked up there individuallywhere he stands.

Delegating tasks: which ones can be delegated?

To answer the question, of course, you first have to get an overview of all the tasks ahead - for example by asking yourself:

  • What tasks can only I do?
  • Which tasks should I do but need the help of colleagues?
  • What tasks can other team members do much better than me?

This is of course only a very rough classification. The technology itself, however, is an essential component of self-organization and helps to set priorities.

One of the forefathers of such techniques for more productivity - the American US President Dwight D. Eisenhower - already solved the problem of delegation in a much more systematic way - with the help of a matrix that is still legendary today - the Eisenhower matrix.

His credo behind it: Lead more, do less ... To achieve this, he proceeded as follows:

To do this, first divide the tasks into two categories important and hurried:

  • Are they important or unimportant?
  • Are you in a hurry or not in a hurry?

Now create a coordinate system for these categories - in a hurry at the top, not in a hurry below, on the left important on the right unimportant. Now enter your tasks there.

  • You can forget about the quadrant at the bottom right. These are the unimportant, urgent tasks. You can take care of them at some point.
  • The tasks in the quadrant above (unimportant, but urgent) delegate You.
  • The tasks that are not urgent but important (bottom left) are to be noted in your calendar. They are processed daily.
  • Complete the tasks in the top left today! You are important and in a hurry.

Graphically it looks like this:

Of course it would be pointless to lay out the quadrants on a daily basis. In fact, most of the time, the principle works right away intuitive in flesh and blood. So you know immediately what to do, what not to do or what to delegate.

And last but not least, delegating is also a veritable one Motivation technique for employees. Those who feel they can do more usually do more (than required) and develop further.

But I can't delegate anything!

Admittedly not everyone is able to delegate tasks. The self-employed, for example, can hardly outsource your job to someone.

Sometimes not even to an employee because the customer only wants the service to be provided by this person. In that case, however, you can at least consider whether it is worthwhile Routine activities (such as bookkeeping, tax returns, secretariat, ...) to outsource to appropriate service providers (technical jargon: Outsourcing).

This is particularly worthwhile if you do one significantly at the same time higher hourly wages than you pay the service provider.

In the company too hierarchical structures prevent delegation: If the boss gives you a task, it's hard to assign your colleague to do it. On closer inspection, however, some things can perhaps be passed on.

Division of labor and specialization ultimately make sense. And sometimes it helps to just ask or ask a colleague in a friendly manner.

What also helps (with the argument):

  1. Don't think of it as a delegation, but as a job modification.
  2. Instead of delegating work that you don't like, pass on the things that you would like to be good at.
  3. Do not delegate trivial matters without great effect, but rather important subtasks.

The last point in particular signals to colleagues that you are not in favor of this daily toddlers are too good, but have the big goal in mind.

Delegating successfully: the checklist

After you have an overview of which Tasks can be delegated at all (Thanks, Dwight!), that's what it's about Transfer yourself, the delegation ...

  • Find the ideal cast.

    The goal must not be to simply get rid of work and thus avoid it, but rather to give it to whoever delivers the best result. Certainly, there are often conflicting goals here because the real top performers in the company are already overabundantly covered with work. In this case, it is important to weigh up the available time budget, the demands and the possible second occupation.

  • Formulate the task.

    Take the time to go into detail about the colleague you want to entrust with a task letters. Quickly dropping a task over by email or sticking a post-it on your colleague's desk - that's not a way of delegating. In the end, this only leads to the fact that the colleague is either annoyed because he does not feel valued enough. Or he is frustrated because he does not know exactly how and what to do now and what you actually want from him. The result will look accordingly.

  • Explain goals.

    When submitting an assignment, you should also remember to explain the goal behind it to the person. If a partial task or a preparatory activity is given, the entrusted person often lacks the background. This can lead to suboptimal results - and reduced motivation if you just feel like a cog in the machine. Therefore: Always show the goal behind the task and its importance for the overall project.

  • To create transparency.

    If you have given someone responsibility or authority, everyone else should know. This is the only way for colleagues to be able to act and assert themselves. In addition, you signal to him and others how much trust you have in your colleagues and their abilities.

  • Create the conditions.

    Make it possible for your colleague to actually do the job. Provide them with all the information they need. For example: Where can I find all the documents about the project? What is the current standing? At the same time, colleagues should be able to obtain all the necessary resources - access to certain programs, materials, and so on.

  • Optimize timing.

    It's a nice cliché that commercials like to make use of: Shortly before the end of the day, the boss comes to the desk and slams a pile of files on the employee's desk. They should just be processed - until yesterday, of course. However, there is often a real core to every cliché: delegating something at the last minute only creates frustration. You'd better do it first thing in the morning so that your colleagues have enough time to reorganize themselves.

  • Answer questions.

    Give your colleague the assurance that they can contact you at any time with questions. In doing so, you show that your aim is not to push off work, but that you are still involved in the task.

  • Set limits.

    Not every employee and colleague is equally motivated when he or she is given a new task. However, there are usually deadlines for this anyway. In order for you to adhere to these yourself, you should also communicate clear time limits: What may take how long? It often makes sense to include a buffer here, which of course you do not communicate.

  • Give freedom.

    Ultimately, you only ever transfer one goal, one result. Regarding the solution, you should remain open. Everyone works differently. And if you specify every single step, it is no longer delegating, but a rule in the literal sense of the word.

  • Give feedback.

    Once the task has been completed, don't forget to give your colleague feedback on the result. In this way, you ensure that your colleague also benefits, can improve their work and develop their skills in the future. With a thank you, you also show that you appreciate the work of your colleague and honor his or her work. Gestures like these create a pleasant working atmosphere and mean that colleagues will continue to be happy to work with you in the future.

As Rule of thumb for successful delegation you can also use the so-called SMART method as a guide. This is an acronym, the letters stand for:

  • Specific (i.e. as specific as possible)
  • Measurable (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Attractive (rewarding or challenging for the employee)
  • Realistic (feasible - within the time and with the means)
  • Terminated (so limited in time)

Note: Nobody can be (a good) boss, who is not too can delegate. And it's better if you can Not do everything yourself.

We have the checklist for delegating tasks here as a PDF document for free download provided for you.

Delegating: These are the mistakes you should avoid

There are also some when it comes to delegating Pitfalls and mistakes to avoid. Otherwise, you ensure that the motivation of the employee to whom you have delegated a task has reached zero in a short time - in other words, exactly the opposite of what you actually wanted to achieve.

If you have the following classic mistake bypass, delegating not only increases the motivation, but also contributes to employee productivity.

  • Unclear guidelines.

    If you entrust an employee with an important task, you must make sure that they really understand what they are supposed to do. Not all employees admit ambiguities on their own, so ask if you have any questions. It is also helpful to have the employee repeat the task in their own words.

  • Constant meddling.

    Also Micromanagement called. Sure, it can be difficult to give up control and responsibility for a task. Nevertheless, you should definitely refrain from constantly interfering with your employee. This only creates the impression that you regret your decision and that you do not trust your employee to achieve a good result. Instead, show confidence.

  • Lack of control.

    Although the employee has to work independently and responsibly, the (final) control is part of the delegation. This is the only way you can praise employees for a good job and thereby increase motivation for further projects. Especially when it comes to sub-projects, all those involved should be recognized for their work. Otherwise, delegating will become increasingly difficult in the future.

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