Happy Monday ladies! I missed y’all last week, but I hope you all had a restful Labor Day, I mean that’s the whole reason it exists right?? I spent the holiday weekend moving my mom up to Portland, OR. I’m SO proud of her for making this boss move and leaping out of her comfort zone to move forward. Not many people have the courage to do that, and I’m lucky to have that example in my mother! 💪🏻
As I spent the weekend with family and friends, I was plagued by what work was building up at home. Sound familiar? The stress brought me back to a poll I did on Facebook before our Sipping in Slippers event where I asked hundreds of women what their biggest leadership frustration was, any guesses? Number one was “Delegating — it’s easier (and quicker) to just get it done myself” and a close second was “Too much to do, too little time. ALWAYS.”. Hmmm… correlation there? I’d say so. Let’s dive into delegation today and how to do it well.
Now Take it From Some of the Most Influential Women
You know how I feel about the lack of training for leaders today, hence The Leadership Project (which starts in 2 WEEKS! WOOHOO!). Annabel Acton shares in her Forbes article, “Delegation is a CEO’s Secret Weapon: Here’s How to Do It Right”, a study that found only 28% of managers received training on delegation! Unfortunately, not shocking. And if you don’t know how to delegate well, it really does feel like more work than help and your capacity as a leader continues to diminish. Check out her article for more info, but here are her main tips for delegating “right”:
- Justify the Investment – this small (but what may seem huge) investment of time to train your team will save you much more time in the long-run freeing you up to work on more as a leader.
- Be Clear About Scope, Parameters, & Outcomes – the clearer your instructions, the less likely you will disappointed in the final product. Your team are not mind-readers, so set them up for success!
- Show Stimulus & Give Them Space to Surprise You – the unique creativity of each of your team members is a strength, don’t micromanage away innovation.
- Get Verbal Confirmation That All is OK – have them explain back to you what they will be working on, what the outcome is and the agreed upon deadline.
- Make Yourself Available – when (not if) they come back to you for further clarification, be open! Don’t take this as a sign that they are doing a bad job, rather take this as a great sign that your communication is open and your team feels comfortable getting the support they need from you. I encourage you to foster this communication, not slap it down.
- Recognize & Give Feedback – ALWAYS recognize good work and effort. Don’t miss these opportunities! They are easy and make all the difference to the engagement of your team. Get their feedback FIRST before your share your opinion. If you have constructive feedback share it, but ensure that you’re providing training to improve and not just criticizing.
Tanya Hall wrote a great 1-minute read for Inc. on why, “Delegation Will Make You a Stronger Leader”. This is my favorite perspective by far as a Maximizer! She encourages that you identify your weaknesses and delegate those out so you can spend your time utilizing your strengths. You should be doing the same for your team, and exactly why you should hire talent that complements the team.
On Fast Company’s website, I came across Jessica Hullinger’s article, “Productivity Secrets of Master Delegators” that really supports and rounds out the above advice. First, keep a running “To Don’t” list. What are the things you’re always going to hand off? Keep adding to that and stick to it! I have a freebie I’ll share below to help with this one. Give clear instructions, and support your team when they fail. Use the opportunity to train and get better — don’t turn it into a disengaging event.
My Ladyboss Perspective
Delegation is something that separates a “great” leader from just a “good” leader. Delegating well is critical to developing your team, growing yourself as a leader, and building the capacity necessary for you and your team to continue moving up the ladder. Yes, there will be mistakes and lessons learned but they will be worth it in the end. I truly believe that our number one duty as managers and leaders is to develop our staff, so you have to make that time a priority!
I have a tool to help with this that I shared at our last Sipping in Slippers event called The Eisenhower Box (click to join the email list and get this freebie!). You definitely may have seen this box before in your leadership journey, but chances are you are not using it to it’s full potential.
Here’s my hack: print one out every day and use this to make your daily to-do list. It’s not an added task that way, but takes the place of your traditional checklist to-do list (come on, I know you have one!). Upgrading to the Eisenhower Box as your to-do list builds in your daily delegation needs and prioritizes everything you need to get done all in one step. Take the “Urgent but not Important” box and start there with your delegation if you’re still nervous about handing things off. Then as your team grows and your comfort grows you can start delegating more of the important and urgent or important but not urgent tasks.
So, What Now?
Print the Eisenhower Box out and START TODAY! Do your to-do list in the Eisenhower Box each morning before you jump in to any work and let us know how it’s going on after using it ALL week. Just give it a try!
Talk soon 👋🏻