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Are you constantly putting out fires, micromanaging your team, or simply want to accomplish more? 

If you have problems like these, then change your thinking to get different results.  Make delegation part of your mitigation plan.

All successful leaders know how to leverage their time, while empowering their team, by delegating.  Here are some simple steps to get you there:

1.      Analyze the skills and strengths of your direct reports

2.      Assess all projects and tasks that you own

3.      Compare #1 and #2 to determine who on your team can take which tasks off your plate

4.      Develop a hand-off strategy and target dates

5.      Obtain status updates

6.      Create a follow-up and feedback loop

Let’s look at each step in a little more detail.  If you’ve developed your team appropriately, you’ll know their skills, strengths, or who would benefit from a challenge.  With that in mind, you then look at what’s on your plate and determine what you want to hand off.  Match the right person to the hand-off.

Once you choose someone to delegate to you must develop a hand-off strategy.  Ideally, this involves getting their buy-in first so that they are excited and engaged.  Then clearly communicate and document the expectations, outcomes, milestones, and completion dates.  During this initial conversation, answer any questions that come up so that you are both on the same page before getting started.

Once things get rolling it’s important to obtain status updates at each milestone during the delegation life cycle.  Also, make yourself available to give and receive feedback more frequently if needed, so things progress as planned.

Monitor your own actions to ensure you are not micromanaging. 

For example, if you are not satisfied with how things are progressing, do not take the task back.  Work with your direct report until they complete the task to your expectation.  It may take a little longer than anticipated, but it will be an important growth opportunity for them.  It will also be an important lesson for you when learning to delegate.

Finally, perform one last evaluation of the outcome and give constructive feedback, praise, and document lessons learned.  There may be challenges when delegating but if you use this strategy the process will go much smoother and it will empower and motivate your team.

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