Monday, February 27, 2012

Top 10 Secrets to Successful Delegation

Delegation is an essential tool for any leader. No one can do everything themselves, and no one is an expert on everything. Being able to delegate is what makes a leader effective. Here are some keys to successful delegation.

1. Know your staff
What skills does your staff have? Which staff members are not already overwhelmed with tasks? Who is the best person to handle this project? Is it something that requires more than one person? Staff members have outside interests and skills that can be useful. Take a survey of your staff at the beginning of the school year to find out their skills and talents that can be useful. For example, I am a paramedic with emergency planning and response experience and training so I am working on the emergency planning team. 

2. Establish objectives.
Clearly communicate your objectives to each staff member involved in the project. Your objectives should be concrete, measurable, and concise. Write them down and review them yourself if necessary. Remember your role is to direct. Provide support and assistance.

3. Give a deadline.
Deadlines should be given for any project worth doing. Be specific, strict and realistic when establishing deadlines.

4. Develop a method of reporting.
Esablishing a reporting system will eliminate staff coming to you throughout the day for feedback. Email, face to face meetings, written reports, time frame (when do get feedback).

5. Focus on the results.
The successful leader does not micromanage or get involved in the details unless the staff ask for help. Empower the staff to deal with the details. 

6. Keep a log of projects.
Keep track of the projects, who is working on them, when they are due, and what their status is. Keep this log so that you can keep track of everything and make sure all teams are on schedule.

7. Encourage creativity and independence.
Just like with students, don't solve every problem brought to you. Help them to reach a solution and ask teams to come with ideas fore solving problems. Give them support, feedback, and encouragement. 

8. Follow-up.
Continuous follow up with teams and staff is important. Do not wait until the deadline or due date. Communicate with them, listen to their concerns or issues, and check in to make sure they are proceeding.

9. Provide resources.
Make sure your staff has the resources (time, support, supplies, equipment, manpower,money, etc.) to complete the project. Provide them the resources they need so that they can be successful.

10. Rejoice and review.
Celebrate and congratulate the successful completion of projects. Show your staff that what they have done is appreciated and important. Discuss and issues or challenges they encountered and how they overcame them. Recognize the team members for a job well done!

A successful leader knows how to successfully delegate. 


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