Delegation has a bad name because it’s usually not done well. It’s often uninteresting work dumped from ‘above’ with a tight deadline to complete giving little time to do a good job. But delegation can be a great learning opportunity for personal development if you receive it as such. Here’s how to make delegation work for you.
Receive the full package: Delegation isn’t just the delegation of a task. When your manager delegates they delegate the task, the thinking and the worry associated with it. They get it out of their head onto your plate and want it to get done.
Step above your usual: Delegation that helps you is that which requires you to stretch or maximise your strengths. Don’t’ take for granted what you know that will help you do the task but also have a full understanding of what value you need to bring. Be clear how you will be assessed or evaluated in particular the quality of the deliverable. Cover the basic things required before you do other stuff that you think will add value.
Manage your delegator: You need to generate confidence that you can handle the task assignment or role that is being given to you. But make sure your manager does not micromanage by telling you how to do every detail or abdicate completely by not owning the outcome. If you are to learn, you’ll need the right level of guidance. The trick is to set a clear desired outcome for the end result and then a set of intermediate outcomes along the way. It’s the best way to co-own the successful outcome. Also agree processes that will allow you to keep your manager informed of progress that makes him or her feel comfortable that the work is getting done.
Know the dependencies: Most tasks are hardly stand-alone. Understand the bits that the assignment you are working on feeds into so that your results are relevant to what and where it needs to be. I am not suggesting that you go doing other stuff rather understanding that what you are working on may have broader impact.
Now take action: What can you proactively ask to be delegated to you to grow you?