Leadership & Marketing Update from H. LEINER & CO.
Is it your job to delegate?
Sometimes. But not always.
It is your job to delegate when you are responsible for completing certain tasks or assignments, and it will free up your time to delegate the project to an employee to do instead of doing it yourself. In situations like that, delegating is an important component of your time-management skills.
It is not your job to delegate assignments that should not be your responsibility to begin with.
Instead of delegating, you need to defer those tasks. This means giving those tasks to the people who should be doing them instead of taking responsibility for them for no reason.
These are the types of tasks that should be deferred instead of delegated:
* An employee comes to you and asks for your opinion on the next step of a certain project that they are working on. Instead of agreeing to think about it and promise to get back to him with a wise response, defer the task: This is not a job you should take upon yourself to devote the necessary time to think through. Give your employee a response in the moment and tell him you’re happy to discuss it with him further, but you’re not taking responsibility for his project.
* Someone in your organization asks you a complex question relating to a department that you’re familiar with, but you’re not in that department. Instead of taking the time to solve her challenge and think through ways to help her, defer the task: Refer your employee to the correct department, allowing her question to be answered by the person responsible for that area.
* A coworker asks if anyone is able to help with a job that will just take an hour. If there are other people around to help, defer the task: Until you can complete all your own work without feeling any overload, do not volunteer for more work.
Deciding to defer a task is an extremely important pre-delegation step. If you defer correctly, you will have less responsibilities that need to be delegated.
(Harvard Business Review)