management - the art of delegation stage 3
So far we have looked at why we delegate and we should be in a position to state categorically it is a good thing. We then moved on to stage 1, which is all about getting the right people to do the job and stage 2, which is all about giving clear direction and briefing individuals correctly. Remember we have to delegate as a manager, we hear all the time of reasons why managers don't delegate including "I like doing the work" or "It takes too long". This is all poor management, the reality of it is if we are not delegating, then we are probably experiencing poor time management and certainly not doing what we should be doing as a manager i.e. DEVELOPING PEOPLE.
Stage 3 of effective delegation is all about appropriate monitoring. The keyword to remember here is ‘appropriate’. We should be neither micromanaging individuals, in other words giving someone a job to do and then sitting on their shoulder throughout giving a constant narrative on their performance. If you have ever had this done to you, you know what this feels like. I remember saying to one manager who was micromanaging me, “Why don’t you just do this yourself”. She appeared quite shocked as if she didn’t realise and she probably didn’t think she was micromanaging at all.
Likewise, we don’t want to put people in positions where they feel abandoned, or we have just left them to fail. Individuals need to know that if they get stuck where they can come if they need to. A danger with this, of course, is when they use us for every single problem they face. In this scenario, we may get them to work out an answer sometimes or encouragement to have a go and that it doesn’t matter if mistakes are made. An obvious exception is where health and safety or large financial losses could result. Otherwise, mistakes are a good thing. We all make mistakes, and indeed some of us need to make mistakes to learn.
So appropriate monitoring is key and this should be explained in our brief at the start so there are no surprises. Next time we are going to look at an essential aspect, giving feedback. This is of vital importance for the delegation cycle to work.
Target Training delivers open and in-house management training and ILM qualifications level 3 -7. See more information here.
Ralph Moody is the founder of Target Training and specialises in trainer and management development. You can read more about him here. You can read more about the management courses Ralph delivers training on including the prestigious Foundation Management Development Programme (FMDP) here.