One of the traps I tend to fall into, time and time again, is this one:
I’d rather do it myself that delegate a task and have someone not do it correctly.
As school leaders working with staff and volunteers we can be put in uncomfortable situations by others’ mistakes and tardiness.
How can we use delegation to empower others to learn and grow?
Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years. Need I say, the hard way?
Give choices of tasks when possible.
For example: Would you like to organize the fall picnic or the open house?
Give up the idea that the task has to be done “your way”.
Offer guidelines for action. Be clear about the objectives of the tasks that you delegate in terms of time and quality. Allow others to choose the technique and the team to get the job done. Letting go of outcome has given me some pleasant surprises.
Create a feedback loop.
Based on your level of experience with a person, build in check in points based on specific dates or when certain tasks have been achieved. For example: Would you please have a project plan for the fall picnic ready for me by 3 pm next Friday?”
Put that date and time on your calendar so you can hold that person accountable, and perhaps offer a friendly reminder a day or two before.
Remember, you can’t expect what you don’t inspect.
When mistakes happen, resist the urge to take over the project.
Your delegate forgot to order the tables for the picnic? Ask questions to help that person own the situation and find a solution. For example: Where else might you find tables available at short notice?
We want to be so good at our job of helping others learn and grow that we can have Star Trek moments.
What’s a Star Trek moment?
It’s when we can say, “Make it so,” with the confidence of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, knowing that is will be done.
Begin with delegating tasks in order to help others learn and grow.
Delegate to make room for success.