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10 Delegation Skills to Master

written by: Jean Scheid • edited by: Linda Richter • updated: 8/28/2010

Learning to delegate is harder for some people than others. The A-Type personality would rather do the job and just get it done instead of using available resources. If this is you, Jean Scheid offers 10 delegation skills you must master to make your life as a project manager easier.

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    I Can Get It Done Faster

    Team Leader The A-Type project manager can be called a workaholic, rude, pushy, stressed out, unprofessional, and even a dictator. These are the managers who want to rule the project and often harm the health of both the project and themselves. For them, it’s easier to just do the job because they’re famous for saying, “I can get it done faster!"

    Project managers such as these are in dire need of delegation skills; not just to save their projects, but often their jobs, professionalism, and even effective teams who value and need leadership.

    Below, find my top 10 delegation skills every project manager should master.

    Image Credit: (Free Digital Photos)

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    Learning to Delegate – Tips One to Five

    Business Concept Mastering the delegation process is not an easy task, especially if you are in denial about the need to delegate.

    1. Go Ahead, Have That Epiphany – It’s really okay to have that epiphany and realize you can’t do it all by yourself. This is the first step in learning delegation skills; realizing you need them.

    2. Be That MentorDelegating can be useful in mentoring a team or a team member. Realize that through delegating, you are also teaching, so be a mentor and hand some tasks over.

    3. Prioritize – What really needs to be or can be delegated? If you need to take baby steps here, delegate some easier tasks first.

    4. They’re Right in Front of You – You see that team member every day who wants to go the extra mile, but guess who is stopping her? You are! Trust your hardworking teams and give them the tough stuff.

    5. Don’t Delegate What You Don’t Understand – Too many project managers do this and call it “delegating." Know what needs to be done, its importance and proper process, and assign it to someone. Be available for questions.

    Along with taking those first steps in teaching yourself delegation skills, you need to follow through--on a daily basis.

    Image Credit: (Free Digital Photos)

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    Stay on Track When Delegating – Tips Six to Ten

    Team World Another path you must follow when learning how to delegate to your team or team members is using some skills you might not feel that comfortable with, at first.

    6. You Can Trust Them – Some managers do trust their teams, but fear failure; hence no delegation; think of a dictator—that’s you. Quit being the general and show the team you trust them. Trust goes hand in hand with delegation skills that will eventually convey confidence.

    7. Set Realistic Goals – Maybe you could get that task done in under a day, but is that realistic for a team member’s skillset? Offer guidelines and be realistic about timelines and due date.

    8. Let Go of the Project Plan – Sure you may have written it but it’s not all yours! Share it with the team and allow individuals to offer input on what processes could be assigned to which teams.

    9. Be a Coach – Now that you’ve mastered your delegation skills, don’t leave work early everyday because you know the project’s on a good path. Your team members need you there to be a leader throughout their assigned duties, goals, deadlines, and especially during risk and control processes.

    10. Don’t Relapse – Once a project is successfully completed and your delegation skills turned out actually pretty great, don’t relapse back to the old you when the next project lands in your lap. Trust is really key in mastering the process of delegation.

    Beyond fine-tuning your delegation skills, remember when the project is complete to give credit where credit is due. The A-Type project manager is used to hogging all the kudos. Now that you’ve learned to delegate, recognize your team.

    Image Credit: (Free Digital Photos)



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