In Order to Delegate, Learn to Develop

Many managers – especially inexperienced ones – suffer from resistance to delegation. They often declare that it’s easier to do it themselves than to ask someone less experienced to handle it.

The challenge is, of course, that if you don’t delegate, you’ll suffer from perennial mountains of work and your “delegatees” will never get the experience.

This creates the loop between delegating and developing. If you don’t take time to develop your staff, you won’t be able to delegate.

Yes, it takes more time to teach or coach someone, but this is part of managerial growing pains. The investment in development will return hundreds of hours to you, so why not put some renewed focus in cultivating your staff.

+ Try not to focus on “one off” tasks. Instead, cluster together similar tasks that the person will need to learn (including the “one off” item) and demonstrate how they fit together. This will help the next time a new, similar task comes up.

+ Teach them to teach. Ask the person who learned how to handle a set of tasks to teach it to a co-worker. One of the best ways to learn is to teach someone else.

+ Evaluate progress. Observe patterns as you delegate more frequently. You’ll identify strengths and weaknesses in your people and can focus further development accordingly.

Once you start to focus on development, delegation will come more easily and naturally. You will multiply your own efforts, which of course will multiply your results.

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