Saturday, October 6, 2007

Stressless Saturday: Effective Delegation

If you have ever worked for a micromanager, you know that they have a hard time delegating. According to Wikipedia, micromanagement is a management style where a manager closely observes or controls the work of their employees, generally used as a pejorative term. In contrast to giving general instructions on smaller tasks while supervising larger concerns, the micromanager monitors and assesses every step. Micromanagement is instantly recognized by employees, but typically micromanagers never think of themselves as micromanagers.

Most of the time the micromanagers believe the adage that "If you want something done well, you've got to do it yourself." However, they forget that there is a limit to how much any one person can accomplish. They stress themselves out trying to do it all, and therefore, all of their work suffers.

Even if you aren't a business manager you can be a micromanager! Have you ever followed your kids around to remake their bed or fix their homework? Or have you over functioned in your family or marriage because you wanted things done right (your way)? If so, learning to delegate will help reduce your stress. Here are some keys to effective delegation:

  • Delegate the project if someone else wants to do it, needs to do it, can do it, or likes to do it. If you can only give it 50% of your energy...someone else can probably do it better!
  • Make sure you delegate the authority to use the resources ($ and people) to get it done.
  • Delegate the resultsof the project, not how it should be done.
  • Let go!
  • Communicate clear instructions, expectations and guidelines.
  • Once you are sure they understand…leave them alone to do their work. LET GO!!
  • Schedule regular written or verbal reports (to keep you from micromanaging).
  • Give feedback when necessary, but make sure it is necessary!!
  • Realize that it won’t be done the way you would do it. (And that is okay!!)

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