Delegation as Development

leadership words In working with leaders in organizations, one of the focus areas that leaders sometimes need to work on is their skill of delegation. When we look deeper into why leaders are not delegating there are usually a mix of reasons. One reason is they don’t trust others enough, they think they are the only one that can “get it done”. Another reason is that they don’t want to give their employees another “to do”. Other times they just feel that they as the leader should do it.
I take a different perspective on delegation.
I encourage all the leaders that I coach to take this approach as well. That perspective is that we are actually developing people by delegating to them. My process is this:
  1. Have a session with all employees where you understand what areas they are interested in (due to wanting to grow their current skills to the next level) or what areas they would like to develop further.
  2. Create a spreadsheet that includes all of your employees so that you have these on your desk. You know with a quick glance at the spreadsheet what areas each employee would like some further development in.
  3. When projects, meetings, presentations or other opportunities come your way, you look on your sheet and contact the person that has expressed to you that they may want some development in this area.
  4. Discuss with the employee if this is something that meets their development goals and does it “push their edge”.
  5. If workload is a concern, it is also important to discuss with the employees how they could possibly delegate or streamline work so they have time to focus on developmental projects.
This allows leaders to see that delegation is a very positive thing; that with delegation we are actually developing employees to perform at the next level. That is a win-win for everyone involved. I express to leaders that if they are not delegating to their employees, they are not actually doing their job of developing their people. This is a very important method of people development.
Shannon Rios MS LMFT is a high performance coach with leaders and executives. She also focuses on 360 feedback with leaders and managers to create high performing teams.

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