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It’s time to start delegating

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in Centerpiece,Leaders & Managers,People Management

DelegatingThe “I’ll just do it myself” attitude you may be harboring is hurting your career and the success of your team. Break free of it, and start delegating today, using this advice:

Delegate to the right people. Whether it’s a tenured employee, newbie or even someone who has failed before, make sure you are matching tasks with people’s skills and knowledge—not on how helpful they’ve been to you in the past. It’s all too easy to rely on one or two reliable teammates, but you should be able to trust all your employees. If you can’t, that’s a whole other problem.

Don’t be afraid to challenge people with new assignments, however. Granted, the easiest thing to do is to delegate work to people who know how to do it, or just do it yourself, but that helps no one. Don’t immediately hand the best tasks to your experienced folks. Instead, offer them to people who are most excited to take on new assignments and who are eager to succeed.

Be available to offer guidance. Make the assignment, offer clear instructions or training as needed, let employees know they are fully accountable for the outcome, and then back off. However, do let them know you are available if they have questions.

Talk about mistakes. When people don’t meet your expectations, and they won’t, don’t chalk it up as wasted time. Meet with the employee to talk about what went wrong and to coach the person to do better next time. Above all else, have enough faith in employees and your coaching skills to ensure that there is a “next time.”

— Adapted from “Letting Go: How to Truly Delegate,” David K. Williams, Forbes, www.forbes.com.

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