Delegation is an essential managerial skill, but it can be hard to master, especially if you are a hands-on person.
Use these four models to identify easily the tasks you can delegate to other members of your team.
The Urgency/Importance Delegation Model
Use this model to determine whether you should take on a task o delegate it to someone else. Urgent/Important tasks require immediate action and the outcome has a direct impact on your business. Depending on your skillset, you may want to take care of those yourself unless other priorities interfere. The levels of Urgency/Importance decrease gradually, with the last two (Urgent/Not Important, Not urgent not important) being the categories you’ll delegate most often.
- Not urgent/Important
- Urgent/Not important
- Not urgent/Not important
The Three D’s
When faced with a new task, decide whether you’ll Do it yourself, Delegate it, or Drop it. This way you’ll eliminate the indecisiveness that causes delegation decisions to drag on for days. You can do yourself the tasks that have a direct impact on growth, while delegating to other members of your team strategic tasks that are time consuming and have a long-term impact.
The Six T’s
This model categorizes tasks according to their characteristics so you can identify delegation opportunities.
- Tiny: Not extremely time-consuming tasks that tend to add up. They’re rarely important or urgent, so you can delegate them (making appointments, updating calendars).
- Tedious: This is repetitive work that you shouldn’t be doing as a leader (filling spreadsheets, updating documents).
- Time-consuming: You can delegate them partially, asking someone else to do the initial work and stepping in when the task reaches a critical phase that requires your direction.
- Teachable: Complex tasks that can be broken down and passed along, and only require you to provide periodic quality checks (drafting presentations, creating reports).
- Terrible at: Being bad at a certain task is a good reason to delegate it to someone with the right skill set.
- Time sensitive: These are tasks that must be completed as soon as possible. You can delegate them when they interfere with other more important priorities (imagine a situation when you ask another member of your team to retrieve an object you forgot in a cab, because you have to rush to make a presentation).
The SMART Model
Communicating clearly and establishing realistic goals are two essential aspects of delegating. Use this model to make sure that the outcomes you expect are reasonable.
- Specific: You must be able to outline precisely the results you expect.
- Measurable: Determine how to track the progress of the task at hand.
- Achievable: Does the employee have the right skill set to accomplish the task? Are you providing them with the resources they need?
- Relevant: Make sure that the task you delegate matches the employee’s skill set and job description.
- Time-bound: Provide a specific timeframe to accomplish the task.
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