The Importance of Delegation

January 8, 2016 Appirio

By Prakash Gyamlani


“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.” — Mahatma Gandhi

To put it simply, delegation is assigning your responsibilities in such a way that they are accomplished and delivered on time, while also contributing to the growth of others. By delegating some tasks to others on your team, you will be able to build your leadership skills and free up time that you can spend on other projects or solutions. It also empowers your team members to be more responsible and showcase their skills, when they may not have had the chance before. In this competitive world, you often need to multitask and constantly learn new skills, and better delegation can help you do that.

It is a universal truth that a person cannot be perfect in each and every area of their life and work. But you are still expected to deliver each and every assignment given to you on time and at a high quality. Without delegation, it’s hard to keep up with these demands, which can leave you feeling burned out.

How to delegate the right way

Don’t confuse delegating work with getting rid of the boring tasks you don’t want to deal with. When delegating tasks, do so in a way that helps others learn and thrive. Give people tasks that align with their areas of expertise and interests. In addition to helping free up some time for you, your teammate will know you have put thought into delegating the task especially to them, instead of just dumping it on whoever is around.

Once you delegate a task, don’t take it back if your schedule happens to free up, or you think you can do the task better or faster. Taking over for your employee or teammate can damage their confidence and cause them to miss an opportunity to learn. Once you put your faith in that person to complete the task, make sure they know you trust them 100 percent to go all the way with it.

When to avoid delegation

There are certain times when delegating isn’t the right way to take care of something. If a particular job calls for your specific expertise, or involves confidential information you can’t share, handle it on your own. Additionally, it’s important to take care of a problem yourself if you can’t clearly articulate what you want done. Otherwise, the person you delegate to will struggle with the unclear task you’ve handed them.

The best way to grow as a leader is to get help from others. Just because you’re a leader doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help. Finding high-potential people and assigning them the right work helps you retain talent, and fills your company with qualified employees.

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