Learning how to delegate at work

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  • Learning how to delegate at work
  • aP
    Member

    Anyone got any good tips for work?
    I find it immensely hard to do and get a bit wound up when I find that they haven’t done what I’ve asked them to, and don’t think about what they’re doing and why. I try not to micromanage, but seem to end up doing so, and its frustrating for me, and them.
    I assume I’m doing something wrong, any thoughts on where to find at least one or two suggestions as to how to get the result that’s required without the stressing and wasted work.

    Do you want to delegate or get them to do their job correctly?

    By asking them to get something done you have delegated. Are they clear on what is expected? Personally always try where possible to ensure that they are 100% clear with what is required/expected and the final result. Ask them to repeat it back to so you are both sure then let them get on with it within a specified timeframe.

    People will make mistakes, so a level of tolerance is expected but they will soon understand what levels of standard you expect and will complete it that way.

    Hth if not tell me to sod off!

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    Its tricky but pretty normal. You will generally have more information and more experience than your charges so you will never get everything you want. Good communication and monitoring without micro managing and a bit of on the job training should help but realistically its going to happen.

    brooess
    Member

    #1. Keep going till you learn how to do it. Learning to brief properly, letting go and trusting your direct reports is the fundamental skill of a good manager. Makes your life so much easier too. It’s a very rare skill in UK plc IME.
    #2. Develop a high trust relationship between you and your direct reports
    #3. Delegation is about you and your behaviour, not them
    #4. Forgive their mistakes and make ALL feedback constructive
    #5. Think of how the best manager you’ve had treated you. Do that
    #6. Think of how the worst manager you’ve had treated you. Avoid doing that
    #7. Praise in public, criticise in private
    #8. Give them an expectation to live up to.
    #9. You can do a lot worse than buying ‘How To Win Friends And Influence People’ and Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People’ and doing what they suggest.

    Good luck, few managers IME even bother trying…<and wonder why their team leave them>

    aP
    Member

    Thanks, to make matters worse, I’m an architect – so obviously I work in an industry with absolutely no expectation of good management. I’ll take a look at those books – and I like the checklist!

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Seven rabbits is a great book. If you don’t have much time to sit and read then the podcasts at http://www.manager-tools.com are highly recommended by a few friends of mine that take this stuff seriously. They all started just with the free ones but then ended up paying to access the back catalogue and notes as it was so useful. Lots of good stuff on giving feedback there as well

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    The 7 Habits can be a bit waffley and “spiritual”. If you edit it to read the habits and ignore some of the background it’s a good book.

    A lot of management skills advice talk about communication. Understanding is a better term. Does the person understand what you’re asking them to do. Lots of people will nod and say yes, but the fear of saying “sorry, I don’t understand what you’re asking me to do” prevents them from doing what you ask.

    Set the expectation and the time scale and trust them to do it. It can take a while but once a team starts to understand each other it will start to work together.

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Subscriber

    aP – Member

    Anyone got any good tips for work?
    I find it immensely hard to do and get a bit wound up when I find that they haven’t done what I’ve asked them to, and don’t think about what they’re doing and why…its frustrating for me.

    That’s me, OK so its a highly technical role with very high production pressure, but their inability to see the bigger picture despite decades of experience makes me wonder if I ought to get out before I keel over from mopping up after them?

    Yesterday I managed to get out on a bike for the first time since October!
    And still I get 2 calls from work as they won’t let anyone else sort the problem out as understandably they have lost hours & hours of production due to the knowledge gap in my reports.
    So I dash home sort my disabled wife out and then spend till 10pm at work sorting it all out.

    It probably doesn’t help that apart from 1 report all the others are close to retirement and if I’m honest are almost marking time

    samuri
    Member

    I find what makes delegation much, much easier is ensuring that everyone understands the master plan. You may initially think you’ve distributed this or think that they don’t need to know it but really, make it very clear and simple to everyone you intend to delegate to and they’ll understand exactly which direction they should be heading in.

    cheekyboy
    Member

    Leadership is the hardest part of any job, you can read every book on the planet regarding management, you can complete all the courses but if you do not have the ability to lead (however difficult and however reluctant you are) you never will, patience and trust are the main key attributes in my humble opinion.

    chewkw
    Member

    Train them well then tell them to get on with it.

    Some jobs are meant to be simple without having to engage any sort of brain juice. If they still cannot do it properly then perhaps you need to make the tasks simpler. The problem is either you or them. Keep it simple.

    Why would a simple task require so much information? Do all of them want to be the big cheese? Too many cooks …

    gusamc
    Member

    understand team maths, 1 team manager doing 150% + 4 team members at 75% = 450% you’ll get better than that by getting the team working really well together and you’ll avoid a nervous breakdown

    follow your own rules and standards, be consistent, be approachable and really do listen and if you have to tell someone later make absolutely sure you do talk to them later, have the integrity to kick up as well as down (ie if your manager is being a twunt then stand up to them, esp on your teams behalf)

    ? Haave you explained what you want and the consequences of certain routines not being followed etc so that people see the whole picture and therefore understnd varous implications.

    *edit, I’d have a regular weekly meeting, with a set agenda, e.g.
    – this is what we did last week/period and we need to do next week/period (if you have a longer plan try to identify ASAP where you are ahead/behind on any timelines esp critial path so you can reprioritise etc)
    – this is what I did last week and what I’m doing next week (and any probs you have)
    -then get each person to do ditto and stress the need for them to be able to mention and discuss any issues.

    chewkw
    Member

    gusamc – Member

    *edit, I’d have a regular weekly meeting, with a set agenda …

    Crikey weekly meeting … a bit like sales meeting …

    tazzymtb
    Member

    if you delegate a task, remember to communicate fully how critical or urgent the deadline for completion is. it may be vital to you, but way down the list of things to get done on another persons agenda. An old manager of mine was a sod for throwing difficult things out with very little information of timescales and would never even ask or engage in discussion about the fact that their delegated work may impact on other dealines being missed.

    I always take the time to communicate clearly what I need to be done, make sure I give as much times as possible and find out what other jobs and deadlines my team have. As their manager it’s my job to make sure it all works as smoothly as possible, not just off load stuff onto others with unrealistic expectations and then go mad when something is missed or gets cocked up.

    The worst manager I had used a book called “don’t do, delegate” which meant that he spent the day lookin at stuff on the net whilst the jnr members of the department worked stupid hours trying to cope.

    b r
    Member

    There is ‘Management’ and there is ‘Leadership’. You need to learn how to lead, and then the need to manage will be greatly reduced.

    It does also depend on how your staff see you, because if they don’t respect you (for any reason), your job will be +twice as hard.

    And after you’ve exhausted all the touch-feely approaches just remember the FIFO methodology. It’s not ‘First In, First Out’ but ‘Fit In or F*** Off’.

    john_l
    Member

    Have a look at this – Situational Leadership. Most delegation issues are down to not fully appreciating people’s readiness to actually take stuff on. You can have someone who’s brilliant at everything you’ve seen them do so far, but give them something that they’re even slightly unsure about & it wont get done unless you tell them exactly what to do.

    situational leadership

    Understand the difference between their work and yours. Why are you reluctant to let-go of the work? They will not do the same task the same way or even the same standard as you. Ignore your urge to interfere or redo their work (unless truly unacceptable to the customer). If you redo their work they will let you keep doing that. if you redo their work they will not be motivated to improve. Think of delegation as coaching.

    samuri
    Member

    And at the end of the day, your staff are all rubbish and you’re awesome.

    After all, how else could the situation where you’re in charge have occurred?

    piemonster
    Member

    If your in a job that requires delegating, then it’s part of your job innit.

    That and keeping tabs to make sure it’s done.

    piemonster
    Member

    I’d quite like to delegate Monday mornings to someone else.

    konabunny
    Member

    The first step is to actually understand what it is that you do.

    klumpy
    Member

    If you don’t like delegating then just get someone else to do it.

    stevew
    Member

    Management is about doing it right, leadership is about doing the right thing.

    With delegation you primarily want someone to do it right but through good leadership they will see that it is the right thing to do and they will start to do it right.

    All sounds a bit ‘Mike the Knight’ – a management reference for fathers of toddlers out there!!

    Sui
    Member

    points above are great, but not soo good if you inherit a team, or people are hired “for you” who are quite clearly thick and out of their depth* 😡

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Subscriber

    Sui – Member
    points above are great, but not soo good if you inherit a team, or people are hired “for you” who are quite clearly thick and out of their depth*

    We must be managing the same team!
    I did bring in 2 really good people but they were both driven out by a few who didn’t like their actually wanting to get things done attidude 🙁
    HR have been involved and ended up saying “your on your own we can’t do anything”!

    Sui
    Member

    LOL . tis why i’m hoping to secure a new job on Wed as my head will explode undet he current conditions.. :fingers corssed:

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