Friday, April 25, 2014

Be a Better Leader by Embracing a Different Way to Delegate

A key survival skill for both leaders and managers is learning to delegate effectively.

By learning to have some faith in their team members, you free yourself up to think and act strategically. You also build bench strength by helping your team to stretch and grow their capabilities. Delegation is often the only way to succeed when there are far too many tasks that fall into the “to do” basket.

But there is a twist to the skill of delegating. It is called deferring. Situational leadership training experts recommend you “defer” whenever possible.

Deferring means that you pass on a task even before you as a leader own it. In other words, before you fully understand what the task involves, you can have others try to sort it out and complete it without your supervision. If, for instance, you are asked about purchasing procedures, send the inquirer directly to Purchasing for answers. You are not avoiding the question. Instead, you are encouraging self-sufficiency. Remain available, of course, if support is needed but in deferring you show respect for others’ competency and save yourself valuable time.

Then you can advise and support as required while focusing on the critical few strategic projects that will have the greatest impact for you, your team and your organization.

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