When the files pile up and the list of tasks to be completed seems endless, there is a skill that is worth gold. And this, regardless of whether you are a seasoned manager or just starting out in the working world. As the title of the article suggests, we are talking about “knowing how to delegate”. Delegation is a skill that allows you to better manage both your resources and your time. Indeed, delegating certain tasks allows you to focus on those where you bring real added value. Unfortunately, delegation is not something that is done as simply as that. One of the main questions people ask is what can be delegated? And above all, how to delegate well? This includes clearly identifying the tasks to be delegated. Discover our tips for better delegation in this blog post. If you want to go further on the subject of delegation and become an expert on the subject, a training course provides you with the necessary basics.
Identify tasks to delegate
Choosing which tasks to delegate, and therefore which to do yourself, is very important. Indeed, when you delegate, you nevertheless keep the responsibility of the task. It is therefore a third person who will execute it, but if something goes wrong, you will be blamed for it.
A relatively simple technique to put in place to identify the most suitable tasks for delegation is the Eisenhower matrix. Contrary to what the name of this analysis and time management tool suggests, it was not US President Dwight Eisenhower who invented it. On the other hand, it is one of his quotations which would be at the origin of its structuring.
This matrix is based on two axes: the urgency and the importance of the task. If you pass each task through these two filters, four situations are then possible:
- Not important / not urgent. These tasks are to be erased as quickly as possible from your list! If they are neither important nor urgent, then the probability of performing them one day is very low, even non-existent. Reserve your time for more… important tasks.
- Important / urgent. Tasks that are both urgent AND important need to be done right away. They are NOT to be delegated because if they are important, this is where you bring your added value and your expertise.
- Important / not urgent. If a task is important but not urgent at the moment, it will inexorably become urgent at some point. So your best strategy is to schedule this task into your calendar. The idea is of course to carry out this task before it becomes urgent.
- Urgent / not important. Urgent but not important tasks are the ones to delegate! Indeed, they need to be done but since their importance is less, the level of skill and expertise you have is not necessarily necessary. It is therefore quite possible to consider that a more junior profile than yours takes care of it.
Ensure the success of your delegation
To ensure the success of your delegation, you must establish a “delegation contract” with the person in charge of the task. No, this is not an official contract signed by both parties. However, establishing this “contract” takes time to make clear. Hence the interest of not delegating between two meetings. Ask the person to whom you wish to entrust the task to meet you for a dedicated delegation point.
One of the first things to do when delegating a task is to identify the level of autonomy you want the person to have. It is important to agree on this because different expectations can lead to problems in performing the task. Indeed, can the person choose both the methodology and the tools at his disposal to accomplish the task? Where, on the contrary, do you want her to use those that you have identified as the most appropriate? Once the framework is established, the person will also feel more comfortable in taking action.
In the same way, during this first point, define together control points. Not in order to monitor the person but to control that the task is progressing correctly towards the expected results. If the points are decided together and in advance, the person in charge also has points of reference concerning the progress of his work. These points can be periodic (every week, for example) or more specific (when the person has received 3 quotes for a planned rental, for example).
A well-managed delegation saves you time! By respecting the basic rules of delegation, you don’t waste your time… or your serenity! As a central tool in a caring manager’s toolbox, delegation is a learned skill. It must also be practiced on a daily basis. You do not dare to start yet? So contact one of our experts on the subject. Since 2009, Nicomak has been supporting managers, executives and other professionals on all subjects related to the responsible management of organizations. Our consultants will be delighted to tell you how they can help you better control your time.