Delegating can seem like a daunting task, even if you’ve had experience with it. After all, it can be all too easy to rely on excuses like “It’s just easier if I do it” even when we’re faced with an ever-increasing to-do list. For professional women especially, we may be more reluctant to delegate. We don’t want to risk others thinking that we are not doing as much as we can be doing and possibly putting a raise or promotion at risk.
The good news is that knowing how to delegate is a great skill to have—and one that will show your leaders that you too are on the way to becoming an effective leader. Let’s look at the benefits you and your teams will gain from your ability to delegate.
#1: You’ll improve your communication skills.
Delegation and micromanaging are not the same thing—in fact, I’d argue that these are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. But without constant vigilance, it’s all too easy to slip into micromanager mode. Delegation requires you to share essential information and detailed instructions, but overall you are giving the person the end goals, not the methods to reach those goals. By keeping in mind what should and should not be communicated and when you should communicate, you’ll be able to improve your own skills while setting your people up for success.
#2: You’ll build trust with your team.
Everyone on your team—no matter how small—has unique talents, skills, and professional aspirations. As you look to delegate your work, take a strategic approach. Which team member will enjoy the work, will perform at a high level, and will use this work as a stepping stone on their work journey? Additionally, can you give that person all the tools and training they need to complete the work successfully? By developing your delegation strategy first, you’ll show your team that you’re empowering and supporting them all the way to the finish line.
#3: You’ll help transform yourself—and your team.
When done right, delegation allows your team members to grow, gives you time to become more strategic, and shows your leaders that you are an effective manager. There is a significant amount of up-front work, including developing strategy, training and knowledge transfer, and putting support systems in place. That said, once the ball gets rolling and issues are addressed as they come up, you’ll help cultivate higher levels of trust and morale among the team. As this delegation leads to increased output from your team, you’ll also be able to better gauge the strengths of individual team members and identify the next generation of leaders among them.
#4: You’ll become more strategic.
When you allow your team to take over some of your projects, that doesn’t mean you have nothing left on your plate. Quite the opposite! By letting someone else execute on projects, you can shift your thinking to determine how you can be more strategic in your role, move other projects along, and add more value to your organization, putting the “leaders will think I’m doing nothing” argument to rest.
#5: You’ll gain time back.
Last but definitely not least, you will give yourself the gift of time when you delegate. When you do this, you can choose how to spend your newfound time—whether it’s on other projects or to cross things off your personal to-do list. Whether you are a business owner or work for someone else, delegation allows you to spend your time and energy on projects that will spur creativity, joy, and revenue. When you are experiencing professional satisfaction, you’ll be in a better position to share and spread that joy to your team, which can help with morale, retention, and keeping the lines of communication open.
Delegation is a criminally underrated skill. The good news is that gives professional women an edge—by developing this skill, you’ll stand out at your organization, build a more cohesive team, and become a more strategic leader, faster.
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