Delegation is a term most leaders are familiar with, but few truly master. It’s the proverbial balancing act—ensuring the work gets done without micromanaging, giving responsibility without overwhelming.
But what if I told you that the secret lies not just in delegation but in empowering your teams?
Delegation, in its essence, involves entrusting a task or responsibility to another individual. But it’s not as simple as just handing off an assignment and expecting it to be done. Delegation is an art of trust, clarity, and understanding the strengths and passions of the people you lead.
Aiming Beyond The Task
When you delegate, consider this: How do you want the person to feel? The goal is not just task completion but the cultivation of a sense of ownership, pride, and growth in the individual. It’s about making them feel integral to the process and the organization.
Before you pass on a task, take a moment for a gut-check:
Accountability vs. Overburdening: Are you merely delegating accountability without support? If so, that’s not delegation; it’s abdication. Ensure that you’re not setting someone up for failure by giving them an unreasonable workload.
Trust: If you don’t trust the individual to carry out the task, perhaps it’s not the right task for them—or maybe, you need to evaluate your trust issues.
Coach, Encourage, Celebrate
These three words encapsulate the post-delegation process. Coach your team members when they need guidance, encourage them during the journey, and celebrate their successes—big or small.
Shifting “Delegation” to “Empowerment” For Real Results
While delegation is about task allocation, empowerment is the provision of authority, trust, and support to achieve those tasks. Empowerment infuses a sense of accountability. Ask your team members not just what they have to do but what they want to do. Using the GWC (Get it, Want it, Capacity for it) method, match tasks with passion. This ensures that individuals take ownership of aspects of the business they’re truly interested in.
Instead of throwing responsibilities at someone, frame them as questions. For instance, rather than saying, “Handle the client presentation,” ask, “Can you take the lead on the client presentation?” This approach facilitates dialogue, allowing employees to express any concerns or seek clarification.
How to make the shift as a leader:
The shift from mere delegation to empowerment can be transformative – both for you and for your team. While delegation can sometimes breed resentment, empowerment fosters pride and makes people feel seen and valued. And, when employees feel empowered, they’re not just executing tasks—they’re contributing to a vision, they feel accountable, and they’re more likely to crush it.
The key here is understanding that leadership is not just about getting things done. It’s about nurturing growth, recognizing potential, and fostering an environment where people feel valued and empowered. By mastering the art of delegation through empowerment, you can unlock unparalleled productivity, loyalty, and passion in your teams. Ready to get started? Let’s talk.