“If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”
These are powerful words from leadership author and expert John C. Maxwell. We’ve all heard about the benefits of delegation. Yet, few excel in this leadership trait. But, as the leader of your farm, it’s critical you spend your time on the most important tasks.
“As a leader, the more you delegate effectively, the greater the time you will have to do the things that only you can do,” says Lolly Daskal, President and CEO of Lead From Within consultancy group,
To be successful in business and leadership today, Daskal says, you must learn to delegate properly. She provides seven ways to do so effectively.
1. Match the person to the job. One of the biggest time wasters in business is delegating to the wrong person, Daskal says. Be sure that the person you delegate the task to is capable of doing the job.
2. Align your expectations. After selecting the right person, discuss the requirements of task to make sure you and the person agree on the job in question and how it will get done. “The more time you take to discuss and agree upon the end result or objective, and achieve absolute clarity, the more efficient the person can be,” she says.
3. Outline your preferences. Most likely, you want the task completed in a certain way. Explain that to your team member. This cuts down on confusion and it creates clarity of expectations.
4. Confirm you were heard and understood. Known as “forward feedback,” ask the person to actively feed back to you the instructions you have given them and have agreements on how to move forward. “This is the only way that you can be sure that the other person actually understands what the expectations are and what requirements entail for the delegated to accomplished,” Daskal says.
5. Make time for questions. Be available for questions from your team member. Also, be open to suggestions, and tell people to come back to you only if they have a problem. “There is a direct relationship between how much people are invited to talk about the job and how much they understand it, accept it and become committed to it,” she says. “You need to delegate in such a way that people walk away feeling, ‘I can do this job and I can do it well.’”
6. Set deadlines to manage time. Create a schedule with a specific deadline for completion of the task. At the same time, build in time for feedback. During check-ins, Daskal suggests, ask about any delays or problems that may occur.
7. Pass on the ownership. The person who you delegated to will be more confident and competent if they fully take over the project or task. “Let them take one hundred percent responsibility this can be a major performance motivator,” she says. “The more often you assign responsibilities to the right people, the more competent they will become.”
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