- For this episode I’ll be sharing seven ways on how to delegate much more effectively with your team. Everyone knows the importance of delegation, but very few people know how to actually delegate effectively. What ends up happening is that they feel overburdened by their work, disappointed with their team’s result, and even get burned out.
- Number one, instead of delegating tasks you should be delegating outcomes. What is the result that you want? Design your delegation with that end goal in mind. For example, instead of saying, “Please put together a marketing plan for our summer campaign,” say, “Please present to me a marketing campaign that you think will deliver a 5% uplift in sales.” This is going to get the person thinking more fully, and taking more ownership with the delegated work.
- Number two, be prepared to coach people through difficulties. As they start on whatever it is that you’ve delegated to them, they will run into challenges. You can use the GROW model of coaching (goal, reality, options, will) to guide your conversations.
- Number three, delegate to the right person. There’s a reason there are quarterbacks and there are defensive linemen. Each person has their own skillsets, drives, and motivations, and you need to find the right one for the job.
- Number four, learn to let go of the delegated task. We can only achieve greatness with the help and trust of others. A team together can move much more strongly and forcefully, with greater results. We need to learn to let go so that others can prove themselves.
- Number five, we need to trust, but verify. We don’t just say goodbye to the outcome and hope that it’s achieved. Check in with the person, give them a call and make sure you’re interacting regularly.
- Number six, we need to provide constructive feedback. Sometimes they’ll need some positively framed challenges that push them a bit, that make them go for it in a more compelling and capable way.
- And finally, last but not least, we need to be clear about the numbers. There’s always a number in the form of the date in which we want something delivered, or a key metric that we’re trying to achieve.
Everyone knows the importance of delegation, but very few people know how to actually delegate effectively. So that stuff really gets done. And what ends up happening is that they feel overburdened by their work, disappointed with their team’s result, and then ultimately very, very frustrated and perhaps even burnout. That’s not what I want to happen to you. So today I’m going to be sharing with you seven ways that you can begin to delegate much more effectively with your team and those around you. Hi, my name is Eric Partaker and I help entrepreneurs, leaders and individuals close that gap between where they are and where they’d like to be with themselves, their company and their wellbeing. And so let’s dive straight into seven ways that you can delegate in a way that’s actually going to get stuff done. So number one, people typically delegate tasks when actually they should be delegating outcomes.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say that you want to hire a new marketing director within your team or company. And so you might delegate, for example, the task of please engage to a member of your team. Please engage or find us three recruiters that we could start working with to identify and eventually find a marketing director. And then maybe a week later, you talk to that person and you say, “Well, how’s it going? Have we found the firms, have we made contact, could we’ve gotten started?” And then they say, “Well, no, actually, I didn’t have a lot of time. And I tried calling somebody that they didn’t call me back and the task just died.” That’s because you delegated the task rather than the outcome. It would be much more effective in this situation if you actually delegated the outcome.
And what I mean by outcome is what is the result that you want? Why are you doing or pursuing this particular activity that you want support on that you want to delegate? So for example, in this situation, you could have been saying, instead of find some recruiters, can you create a process which is going to deliver us a marketing director and of course you might help the person think through that process so that they can deliver that. We’re going to need to identify recruiters. You’re going to need to think about the interview process, how we filter candidates. Is there a final assignment that we want to give the candidates who make the final round? Where are we going to schedule that, et cetera, et cetera. But I would be even cautious about giving too much because you also want to give them the autonomy to figure out how to do it themselves, but delegate the outcome rather than the task.
Another quick example would be so task delegation. Please put together a marketing plan for our summer campaign. That’s delegating a task. A much more powerful thing would be delegate the outcome that you, again, want to see. Please present to me a marketing campaign that you think will deliver a 5% uplift in sales. Much, much stronger, much more robust. This is going to get the person thinking much more fully, taking much more ownership, immediately looking into areas where they might be weak and they might need some support. And also just immediately thinking about that results orientation. Right from the get go they’re thinking, okay, everything that I do right now needs to be in service of this delegated outcome, this benefit, this result that we’re trying to achieve. So delegate the outcomes, not the task. That’s number one. Number two, be prepared to coach people through difficulties because as they start on whatever it is that you’ve delegated to them, they will run into challenges.
And you might want to take these up in your weekly one on one meetings or your progress reviews, however you’re interacting with a person. I do highly recommend that you, by the way, have a formal, regular interaction cycle with anybody that you’re delegating a piece of work to, whether they’re a permanent member of your team, a contractor, a partner, whatever. You need a regular communication cycle. Now, a framework that I love using when coaching people through the inevitable difficulties that will occur is the GROW coaching model. And each of the four letters just stands for a part of the framework that you use to guide your conversation with that person. So the G stands for goals. So let’s say, for example, the person in the previous instance that we created comes back and says, “Well, I’m having difficulty with coming up with the key components of this marketing campaign.”
So then we asked them G, within the GROW model. G is for goal. So we ask them, “Well, what’s the goal here?” Get them to restate. Well, why are we doing this? And they might say, “Well, it’s to create a X percent uplift in sales”, whatever the outcome was that you gave them. Okay, and why might that be important? Okay, and what benefits might the company receive if they were to achieve that or the team receive. So get them really rooted into the goal and the why behind that, once again. Now we move to R. So the R is reality, and we want to get the person that we’re coaching to paint the present picture. Where are we now in relation to this goal that we’re trying to achieve? What’s our current situation, reality. What problems or challenges are we facing?
What difficulties are we foreseeing. Get them to paint that picture. Where are we today? What’s the starting point. The O is for options. We want them to generate options for how we might go from where we are today, to where we need to be in pursuit of that goal. So what’s one additional way we could be moving this forward you might ask. Who might we be asking for help? How might we rethink how we’re structuring this plan. You’re asking questions, but getting them to generate answers and solutions so it really feels feeds into their ownership of whatever it was that you’ve delegated to them. The W stands for way forward or will. And here you’re trying to tap into their motivation and get them to pick one of these options. So how are they going to… Which of these options will they choose?
What’s their commitment to doing that? When are they going to commit to doing it? When might we check in on this again? So you’re getting them to generate or commit to their way forward. So goal, reality, options, way forward. Sometimes it’s described as will as well. Number three, the next key thing with delegating in a way that’s actually going to drive results is choosing the right person. If we’re managing a football team, we’re not going to be asking a defensive lineman to suddenly be the quarterback, or we’re not going to ask a goalkeeper to suddenly play in the striker position. If we do that, we’re going to be setting ourselves up for failure. So we want to make sure that the outcome, remember we delegate outcomes, not tasks, the outcome that we’re delegating really suits the individual, their skills, competencies, their drive, motivation, where they are in the team and organization.
So we want to make sure we choose the right person. Number four, we need to learn to let go. This can be incredibly challenging for the ambitious entrepreneur, leader, manager, individual out there, because we want to keep our hands on everything. We’re worried that people won’t produce at the same level that we’re capable of producing. But here’s the thing. If we keep thinking in this way, we’ll never achieve greatness on our own. We must achieve it with the help of others. A team together can move much more strongly and forcefully with greater result than any individual on the planet. This has always been the case since the beginning of time and always will. So we need to learn to let go so that others can prove themselves capable of doing whatever it is that we’re trying to achieve. Number five, we need to trust, but verify.
So once we delegate an outcome to an individual, it’s important that we trust them to do or pursue whatever is necessary to create that outcome. But it’s not to say that we shouldn’t verify, and this isn’t micromanagement, this is strong management. This is management by strong delegation rather than advocation. We don’t just want to say goodbye to the outcome and hope that it’s achieved. So what do I mean by trust, but verify? Well, let’s say a particular team member or a group of people is now pursuing or trying to create this outcome that you delegated to them. And they may have a series of meetings, perhaps team meetings or progress check-ins that they set up along the way. So go ahead and sit in on one of those. Drop in and see how it’s going, or just check in with the person, give them a call and make sure that you’re interacting regularly and that you’re within that environment and checking in to see how things are going.
How often should you do that? Well, that depends on how big is the outcome that you’re trying to achieve. It’s importance and weight and then the experience level of the team member or group of people that you’ve asked to pursue or deliver that outcome. If there’s a quite a big gap there, but you’re still obviously hoping that they can do it, well then you might want to be verifying a little bit more often. Also, if the person has a bit of a shaky track record, we may need to verify a bit more often. So we just have to use our common sense to understand how often should we be stepping in and verifying that things are going to plan. Number six, we need to provide constructive feedback along the way. So in the same respect that we help coach someone through difficulties with that GROW model mentioned earlier, we also need to expect that sometimes they’ll need some positively framed challenges or constructive feedback that pushes them a bit, that makes them go for it in a more compelling, convinced, capable way.
We might say things like, “I think you’re doing a pretty good job, but if you really give this your best and really take it up a level, what might you do differently.” Or “You’re doing fairly well on this, but in that other project that you were working on, I think you were even producing at a higher level. What was going on there and how might that influence how you proceed from this point on in this project?” Don’t be afraid to give people constructive feedback, or if they’re just simply not performing, they need to know that and you need to let them know. And the best way to do that is by being very, very clear. Right at the beginning, once again, well, what is the outcome that we’re trying to achieve? Because then you can pin back current performance against that outcome, your likelihood of achieving it, as a way to provide space for the feedback that you want to deliver.
And that provides a segue to number seven. We need to be crystal clear on what are the numbers? What are the things that we want to achieve? I always think that there is always a number, no matter what it is, because there’s always a number in the form of at least the date in which we want it delivered, or the key metrics that we’re trying to achieve with whatever the project is or the outcome that we’re hoping to realize. So I hope you found that helpful, ways in which you can step into being a stronger delegator, achieve more results more quickly, and actually get things done.