Leadership skills – Delegating part 4 – Why you should not forget reviewing the delegation process after the task is completed

After all the hard work you have the task finally completed. Most leaders miss the essential part of showing gratitude for the person they have delegated commitment.  Don’t be like them. Show the person or people you have delegated to that you really appreciate their efforts on the task completion. Efforts are often misunderstood or misevaluated. Showing real gratitude will work positively on moral, engagement and motivation.

The essential step during the review is to reflect on how the process went and review decisions that were made during this process. The review you have to conduct should also include feedback from the team or teams involved.  By listening to this feedback, you will be able to understand the quality of the decision you have taken within the delegation process.  By collecting information on the task completion and the delegation process you should focus on asking on both directions: the task and the person you have delegated to. Bellow I’m offering you several questions to help you explore in both directions.

Did I select the right person for the job?

By selecting the person to complete the task and going with it through the process, you will now have enough information on competencies and level of developed behaviors required that have been demonstrated. Another thing that will arise here are the areas for improvement where the person needs additional training. When you select the person, you may go up with his strengths, but the analysis you should conduct here are the areas for improvement allowing that person to finish the task successfully. If you don’t identify the needed minimum level, you better re-think your decision on the current person.

Did I provide a clear goal?

Once the task is completed you can review the clarity of instructions and brief and level of understanding. Using the feedback process, you can ascertain if there were any significant omissions or unnecessary details. If you find some this could be because of not clearly stated objectives. The information on the clarity of goals you can collect by talking to peers, talking to team members, talking to the person you have delegated to and analyzing information from different sources.   

Did I give freedom to complete the task in their way?

Here you will have to answer if you have been supportive or interfering in the process. Most team members probably won’t imply any criticism of you, so you should focus on their way of answering questions, their body language, and other non-verbal signs that indicate that you need to interfere less in the future. Analyze for yourself how did you manage to ensure freedom for action. People have different approaches depending on the task, their working style, communication style, emotional intelligence level, etc. The leader task with this question is to find if the level of freedom provided correspondents with all the personal characteristics.

Did I provide a realistic deadline?

Setting a deadline is always difficult. You need to consider many factors such as the level of personal skills, other commitments, external influences, etc. The deadline can be imposed by the nature of the task. If you have such situation crossing you can easily use it as an opportunity to test your team skills and abilities.  You need to brief them as a team that you are delegating the task to one of them, but you will expect them all to decide how to accomplish it.

Did I provide the necessary resources?

If you do that check, do it in a reasonable timeframe. It will be frustrating for the team member you have delegated to, or the whole team to be left waiting for things they need to progress with the job. This can also highlight “bottlenecks” in the organization you will need to address as a separate issue. Some of the resources you must provide can be coming from an external provider. Here you can put issues like: resource issues of the supplier; incompetent supplier; poor communication; insufficient budget etc.

Did I provide sufficient support?

People don’t ask for help, because they don’t want to feel like if they show a lack of ability. If this is your case then you will need to address the assertiveness of the person and discuss if they really want this type of additional responsibility. It is the leader responsibility to feel the team’s pulse and decide on a strategy that can help this team grow. The easiest way to do that is by asking questions during team meetings on in one on one feedback sessions.  Another strategy for you can be to offer support on critical milestones from the task or ask for involvement for you in the task scheduled steps without taking the authority and responsibility from the person. 

At the end:

Now you need to remember that as a leader, your success will depend on your ability to delegate to others as effectively as possible. Delegation is a skill that you can further improve if you only take time to analyze your own performance and base on that analysis, build a plan for improvement. The most important element in the delegation is to encourage openness and constructive criticism to help you act appropriately.

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