How to Delegate as a Manager


Hi, I'm Claire, CEO of Know Your Team, software that gives you the tools and training to help you become a better leader.

On today's #KYTmanagertips, I wanted to share something that I actually personally have been struggling with lately, which is delegating. Yes, it is that big cliche word that we assume we as managers need to be doing all the time. And I'll tell you that even for myself as a leader who feels fairly confident, I find that I actually don't delegate enough or sometimes not in the right way, which is that I often sometimes think that, "Oh, delegating is, you know, giving stuff to people, maybe they sort of need to, you know, I don't wanna do it, and it's more efficient if they do it right and that sort of delegation, right? And that helps move the team forward."

When in fact, what we truly need to reframe as leaders, and I've had to work on reframing, is the fact that delegating is in fact a way to help our team learn and help them actually make a greater impact themselves.

So it's not always the most efficient thing upfront to do. It's not always the most fun thing to do. There is usually some teaching there required, but I think if we can readjust our frame of mind as leaders to knowing that delegating isn't just, oh, we ask someone to do something, tell someone to do something and they just knock it out. But it's actually, again, about helping them learn how to create that impact and then them being able to participate in creating that impact.

So with that, the way to then think about delegating is that we're not really delegating activities. We're not copying and pasting a to-do list and then telling someone, all right, just go knock out the to-do list though. I'll tell you I've been there and done that inadvertently.

Instead of trying to delegate activities, what we should do instead is delegate outcomes. We should talk about what the actual picture of success that we're looking to see, and actually give someone else ownership of that picture of success.

This could be something as broad as thinking through a problem or strategy that you yourself just haven't been able to solve, or haven't had time yet to own, or could be something as small as giving someone a picture of success for a smaller project or running a meeting instead of again, copying and pasting to-do list, instead of delegating the activities, we instead delegate the outcome.

We talk about how we want people to be feeling after that meeting. We talk about what it would look like if that project were successful. And when we do that, when we sort of elevate this definition of delegating and don't sort of handcuff us ourselves to just doing the thing that feels easy, that feels convenient, that also feels comfortable.

Then we, in fact, not only just become better leaders but we actually help our team grow.

I encourage you to delegate your outcomes and not just your activities. And look forward to having you join us on future manager tips. Thanks so much for tuning in.

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