The Art of Delegation

By chakor gandhi in Experiences
Updated 10:37 IST Jul 05, 2016

Views » 746 | 4 min read

Delegation is an art more than science. When learnt and practiced by an individual in his own environment and conditions, it leads to peace and growth. It’s a crucial step towards attaining leadership.

Energy, time and mind share all are limited resources. Hence it’s required to appoint people to work for. However, to grow collectively as a team, delegation is essential. Established organizations work together and grow together in spite of the massive man power. Delegation plays a major role in it. But just how ‘Charity begins at home’, the art of delegation first applies to an individual.

Delegation, when done appropriately, results in availability of ample time to pursue various things in life. To develop the art, it’s important to understand, believe, follow and practice certain things.

First and foremost is to learn to trust people. Have faith in them. If the person in doubt makes the right decisions for his/her own life, why doubt their capabilities when it comes to work? Being cheated once by an individual does not mean every person out there intends to cheat. Start small by putting faith and delegating smaller tasks where the mistakes are repairable. Where decisions are critical and mistakes may turn out irreparable, it would make sense to rethink and minimize risk.
Secondly, give clear instructions and ensure that the task to be completed is understood precisely. Loosely assuming that the person in charge has understood without confirming the same could end in dissatisfactory results.

Thirdly, calculate the cost of your day. Which means, your earnings per day, and further per hour. Weigh all the tasks you do yourself. Now reflect on whether they are all worth your time or some could be delegated. Quite often we involve ourselves in routine jobs that eat into our productivity and creativity which could be achieved simply by delegating. Vision, Finance, diversification and development are few of the most important tasks of a businessman which get ignored or postponed due to lack of time and inclination which stems from monotony of simple delegable jobs. Delegation permits enough time for yourself family, friends and hobbies. Another valid point is that if plentiful work and the responsibility associated with it isn’t assigned to employees, they think it’s okay to underperform. They start to enjoy watching the boss do all the work while they get paid for it. If you do somebody else’s work, who’s going to do your work?

Giving employees authority along with responsibility is a great way of achieving productivity out of them. Each job done well should be backed by a reward. It could be monetary or just an acknowledgement, praise or motivation. Delegation is effective if we also learn the act called “Catch them doing right”. Normally we catch people making mistakes. Instead catch them doing something right, endorse it, until doing right becomes a practice. Praise and encourage them publicly and correct them, if need be in private. Assure them that it’s okay to make mistakes, just not the same mistakes.

Fourth point is to teach ourselves to accept that it’s not only us who can do it or do it correctly. Be generous. Find better people than yourself. Golden words by J. R. D. Tata, “find the best people and set them free”. And then see the result.

When employees feel like they are constantly watched, judged and suffocated, they cannot perform even if they are very highly paid. Delegation goes hand in hand with faith and freedom.

Delegation works wonders, especially in family businesses. It makes working together easy and harmonious irrespective of the generation gaps. Master the art of delegation for peace, happiness and growth.

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