METRO PLUS

Delegate it right

Here are a few tips to make delegation work for you

THERE IS so much to do in so little time! And that can give you hypertension. . You end up driving yourself and others crazy!

Have you ever stopped to think whether you need to be doing everything? Is the whole stress situation emanating from the belief system - My way or the highway? Also take a moment to think if you have the tendency to be tad a too controlling.

If you have answered "yes" to all the above, may be it is time to sit back and examine the concept of "delegation".

The word "delegate" is derived from Latin and means, "to send from". When you are delegating that is exactly what you are doing - you are sending the work from you to someone else. Effective delegation releases a lot of your time to concentrate on things that are truly important while developing the skills, involvement and confidence of others. A complete win-win situation.

But this is an uncomfortable thought for a lot of people, plagued by all the "ifs" and "buts". What "if" they mess up? "But" I am answerable! What if they are not capable? Take a deep breath and calm down. Here are a few tips to make delegation really work for you, at home and at work, so that sanity can prevail in your life again.

* First take stock of all the activities you are involved in and make a check mark against the ones that can be removed safely from there and be done by someone else. Once that is done, start with delegating simple tasks and activities, until you gain the confidence. Once your comfort level is up, delegate the entire job or large chunks of it.

* Don't think that you cannot delegate because you cannot give someone the entire project. Let the person start with a bit size piece, then after learning and doing that, they can accept larger areas of responsibility.

* The important point to keep in mind is "ask". Don't do an activity that someone else would be willing to do for you if you would only ask him or her.

* Make sure you have very clearly defined the end result, then let go. Allow individuals to use some creative thinking of their own as to how to reach that outcome.

* Clearly define limits of authority. For anyone to function effectively, they must know the parameters within which they can make decisions. Let there be no ambiguity as to the expectations and standards of conduct, and performance.

* Delegate slightly more than you think the person is capable of handling. Never underestimate a person's potential.

* Agree on methods and procedures that will keep you informed as to the progress of the work being done because you are ultimately still responsible and need to know that it is proceeding in a logical manner.

* Encourage and expect them to come up with alternatives and suggestions. A person will be more excited about doing a project when they come up with the idea of how to do it, rather than someone else telling them how to do it. Which brings us to the next crucial state of attitude adjustment — keep your mind open to new ideas and ways of doing things. There just might be a better way than the way something has been done previously.

* Never take back a delegated item because you can do it better or faster. When bottlenecks or problems crop up, resist the temptation to push your sleeves back and take over the task. Now try this and you will be very pleasantly surprised that you not only have the time to smell the roses, but actually can sit back and appreciate them!

CHITRA DANGER

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