One of the best ways to transform how productive you are is to skilfully delegate your tasks to others who can do just as good of a job with them as you would. In fact in many cases, they can do an even better job!
Especially for those in more senior roles, this can free up valuable time to focus on the most impactful tasks. It can even mean that leaders have time to take on more projects, because of the substantial increase in workload capacity that the organisation can take on as a whole.
If we think of productivity as a return on investment, then delegation is of course one of the most fundamental ways to increase that return and get a lot more leverage out of the resources you already have.
How Can You Find Effective Delegation Strategies?
In order to delegate effectively and gain the huge productivity boost you are looking for, you must address two distinct challenges:
• Choosing the task(s) to delegate
• Choosing the appropriate individuals to delegate them to
In order to choose the tasks that you will delegate, you need to first determine what you cannot delegate in any circumstances. There will always be certain tasks that can only be done by you and you alone, and so you should eliminate them from your shortlist as quickly as possible.
If you are in a leadership position, then a lot of these non-delegable tasks will be leadership ones. On top of that, there will also be other tasks that require specific expertise that only you possess.
Once you have fully determined all of the tasks that only you can perform, then that means that all remaining tasks can in fact be delegated.
Some of the remaining tasks in this list may even surprise you, as many people don’t completely realise how much of their workload can be delegated to great effect when it comes to overall productivity.
Choosing Those You Delegate To
This is the greater of the two challenges, because human beings are all unique, and it can sometimes be tricky to determine who will be the best fit for the tasks you need to delegate.
You probably have people on your team with a very broad set of different skills and abilities, because everyone has different experience in work and in life. This makes matching the right people to your tasks a significant challenge.
Effective Intelligence actually provides you with a powerful secret weapon for this. More on that soon!
Ultimately, you are still accountable for your tasks, even the delegated ones, so it will be difficult for you to trust others with problems and challenges that are still in many ways ‘yours’.
Maintaining a culture of communication is really key to effective delegation, because those you delegate to must feel free to be able to raise questions or concerns with you.
They should also have the freedom to tell you if something is not clear, or that they are in fact not a good fit for the task. Honesty and transparency should always be part of your overall communication strategy.
Good communication in task delegation also involves making sure that you are clear about expectations, and that your requirements are specific enough for the person to understand exactly what they need to do in order to meet your needs.
Beyond that, you will also need feedback mechanisms in place to deal with any discrepancies or issues that pop up along the overall task journey.
Be ready to give both positive and negative feedback, with the latter being particularly important in terms of how it is conveyed. This actually requires great interpersonal skills, but it can also be learnt over time.
Assure Mutual Benefit
In order for any delegation strategy to work, those who are performing the tasks on your behalf should benefit from doing so just as much as you do.
You will need to make sure that your people have sufficient autonomy, responsibility and incentives to be able to carry out their tasks with equal amounts of pride and efficiency.
If there is a way to integrate personal incentives into the mix, that’s ideal. If you are looking to really add fuel to the productivity fire, then making sure that every individual involved is personally incentivised to do the best they can is really worth the effort.
Addressing concerns is vital as well, because it’s perfectly normal to encounter struggles and complaints along the way.
Your Secret Delegation Weapon
As we mentioned just now, finding the right match between person and task is no easy feat. There are many ways you can get it wrong, and productivity takes a big hit when you do so.
The best way to avoid this is to look carefully at the specific requirements of your task, and then look at the qualities of each candidate in turn. But how on earth do you assess their qualities? What does that even mean?
In order to assess how someone will approach a given task, we must look at their most likely actions. A person’s actions are actually the final element in a longer chain of cause and effect. Further down that chain is in fact their thinking!
How a person thinks determines what thoughts will occur (and not occur) to them, which in turn determine the actions they take.
Depending on their initial thinking approach, these actions could either be optimal for your task, or not. Without a way to see invisible thinking, there is no way of finding out which it will be.
However, thanks to decades of research and experience, Effective Intelligence uncovers a way for you to quickly get an understanding of how someone thinks. This is done through a game-changing tool called the Rhodes’ Thinking-Intentions Profile.
150,000+ people have used this tool, throughout a wide variety of organisations and companies such as Philips, MIT, Harvard, Shell and Nestlé. It has given these people and organisations a massive edge when it comes to matching people to tasks; the most critical part of delegation.
The best way to start gaining your unfair advantage with Effective Intelligence is to discover your own Thinking-Intentions Profile – even before you look at your team members!
Head over here to get a powerful insight from your own thinking profile today, completely free of charge.