Delegating Sucks

At times, delegating to other people sucks. Sorry, but it’s true. In the beginning, it takes more time and energy than doing it yourself. There is also a lot of risk related to delegating (if they mess up, waste time, etc.). Or maybe you don’t know them and/or trust them.

But then you take a step back and realize that delegating to people is one of the most important responsibilities you have as a leader. Your team is counting on you to train them, develop them and help them become better. If you don’t, they will look for another leader.

Here is a little trick I learned a long time ago that helped me get more comfortable delegating. When you are delegating a task to someone or helping them solve a problem, set this direction (e.g. SAM):

“I would like you to come back with 2 or 3 options on how to complete the task and/or solve the problem. Please identify the pros and cons of each option. Then we will sit down together and review the information. We might even come up with another option together.”

What does that direction do? Simple – it makes the person think (which I love!). They think about the task from different perspectives. They also consider the downside of the various solutions. Both of those items allow you to assess how well they understand the situation and the options. It also creates an environment where you are partnering with each other. This will lead to better coaching by creating an opportunity for plus/delta feedback.

If they nail it, great. You have the solution in front of you. If they miss the mark, no problem. You have a great coaching opportunity in front of you. Seize it!!

Either way, everyone wins. They are learning and growing. And guess what, so are you. You are getting better at delegating. Isn’t it great when you can kill two birds with one stone?

Make it a great day and continue to Lead the Interstates Way!!
Scott Peterson


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