There's a saying, "many hands make light work," it's a proverb that dates back to medieval times and the meaning still holds true today - working TOGETHER to reach a goal or complete a task, is easier than going it alone. While we know this is true, too often we try to do it all ourselves and the outcome can mean over-packed schedules and missed production metrics and deadlines.
Collaboration and cooperation are important elements of teamwork. Another essential element of a solid team is also having someone to help guide the process - someone to delegate. It doesn't matter which role you play on the team, whether you're the one delegating or being delegated to, there are a few things to keep in mind to help everyone be successful.
When you are delegating keep this in mind:
Instead of feeling empowered to complete a project, the receiver may feel like they're being dumped on, make sure you:
- Set clear expectations and goals
- Communicate the vision of the project
- Establish a timeline that includes a progress check
- Make sure the individual has time in their calendar to DO the work and get it completed on time, you may need to help them prioritize
- Explain why the individual was chosen for the project, perhaps it is to help them prove they are ready for a promotion, or it's based on their expert knowledge of the subject
When you are being delegated to, keep this in mind:
It's important you understand the project or task you are being assigned, make sure you:
- Ask questions to assure you fully know what's expected of you
- Put project dates in your calendar to make sure you meet the deadlines.
- If you don't feel you can complete the work or have several deadlines falling at the same time, discuss it with your leader
- View delegated tasks as opportunities to learn and grow personally and professionally
- Understand your leader trusts you enough to give you more responsibility
Keep in mind these tips aren't all for professional gain, they work at home too. Also, never be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and volunteer for a project you want to be involved in.
Delegation can help everyone better manage their time, plus the improved communication not only helps you better engage with your peers, but it can also boost morale and the success of your overall team.