To be frank, most leaders waste way too much time drilling down, involving themselves in the details of their team members’ responsibilities—rather than creating an environment that has team members accepting full accountability for meeting their objectives.

How much drilling down, micro managing are you doing—rather than investing your time focusing on the master plan, new initiatives and the strategic picture?

What Delegation Style Do You Habitually Use?

Unquestionably, the behaviour of your team members is hugely impacted by your behaviours—the way you delegate projects and tasks and the way you monitor those delegations.

By effectively delegating, you can create team members who meet your responsibility and accountability expectations!

And so, what specific changes would you need to make in the way you delegate so that:

• You eradicated the need to drill down into team members’ roles—to micro manage?

• Team members exceeded the responsibility and accountability expectations that you have of them?

Perfecting The Art Of Delegation—

Here’s what expert delegators do:

• Delegate the objective—not the procedure.

The most common delegation problems arise when you detail “how” the work is to be done. That’s when you get described as a “micro manager”.

On the other hand, when you focus on clearly describing your intention and objective for the assignment (and perhaps an outline of a possible approach if your team member’s not experienced), you can create a space in which your team member can assume full responsibility and accountability.

• Have a dialogue and agree the criteria for the project—the quality, quantity, resources, authority and time frame.

“Agree” is a key word here. This isn’t you saying “Will you do it in 2-weeks?” and them saying, “Yes”. Instead, have a listening dialogue about these criteria—and notice how the quality of the discussion lifts.

• Jointly decide the checkpoints.

In my experience this is the second most common delegation problem—not working out the progress reporting timeline with your team member before work begins on the project.

If you don’t jointly devise a checkpoint plan before the work begins, you do actually need to regularly “lean over the fence” to see how your team member’s travelling. Hmmm, another reason you might be labeled as micro managing.

• Appreciate and acknowledge

Ensure they “get” that you appreciate their help with this. And ensure you give plenty of positive and corrective feedback along the way too.

Your Leadership Call To Action—

When you enable your team members to use their initiative and act independently, within clearly agreed guidelines, you’re encouraging them to take responsibility and accountability, right?

And when you appreciate and acknowledge their efforts, they’ll feel valued and respected, and more resolved to meet your expectations, right?

I look forward to hearing about your successes with your remodeled approach to delegation ☺.

All the best for now,

Author's Bio: 

Carolyn Stevens, PCC, works intimately with executives, leaders and teams in a trust-filled relationship that leads to them raising their potential and to outstanding performance and results.

She offers an insightful understanding of their world gained from working in the human resource development field for around 25 years.

She’s results-oriented, authentic and able to draw on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit each situation.

Carolyn’s experience is with leaders in the finance, manufacturing, marketing, IT and services industries, as well as in government. Her clients are both big-name and smaller organizations—such as AMP, Amgen, Autodesk, Avaya, BHP, BlueScope, Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College, Brightpoint, Caltex, CSIRO, Defence Department, Energetics, Frontline Management Institute, Harper Collins, James Hardie, Konica Minolta, Lucent Technologies, MasterCard, National Prescribing Service, NSW Institute of Psychiatry, Novartis, Oki, ResMed, Rheem, Rothschild, NSW Health, SAI Global, Seafolly, Solvay Pharmaceuticals (now Abbott Products) and Toshiba.

Prior to establishing her own business in 1989, she was a Partner, NSW Human Resource Development Manager and Consultant with a national group of corporate psychologists, Chandler & MacLeod. Having specialised in executive, leader and team coaching since 1998, she’s well equipped to help craft lasting results.

Carolyn has completed studies at undergraduate and post-graduate levels in psychology and allied disciplines at Macquarie University and University of Technology. She is a Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner and is Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Step II and BarOn EQ-i certified.

She was awarded the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential by the International Coach Federation (ICF) in 2001 in recognition of her training, applied skills and experience. She’s held roles on ICF’s international Ethics Review Board, International Credentialing Committee and Australia & New Zealand Board.