Successful Delegation

Successful Delegation

Delegation is one of the most important management skills. Good delegation saves you time, develops your people, can be used to groom a successor, and it motivates your team. Poor delegation will cause you and your team frustration – it de-motivates and confuses the other person, and fails to achieve the task. So it’s a management skill you need and that is worth improving. Here are some simple steps to follow to get it right.

Define the task

Confirm in your own mind that the task is suitable to be delegated. Does it meet the criteria for delegating? Make sure the task is

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Agreed
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound
  • Enjoyable, at the very least ethical, and worth doing!
  • Recorded

Select the individual or team

First consider why are you delegating to this particular person or team. What are they going to get out of it? What are you going to get out of it? Be clear about why you have chose this person!

Are they competent to do the task

Is the other person or team of people already capable of doing the task?  If not, can their training need be met in time to compete the task?

Explain the reasons

You must explain why the job or responsibility is being delegated. And why to that person or people? What is its importance and relevance? Where does it fit in the overall scheme of things? You need to give as much information as you can!

Be clear about the desired result

What must be achieved?  Make sure they have understood by getting feedback from the other person. How will the task be measured? Make sure they know how you intend to decide that the job has been done.  Be clear about the standard and quality you expect and how this will be judged. What reports will you require as the task is being completed? What methods of checking will you use – be clear at the outset and agree them with the person doing the task.  This will avoid later frustrations.

Consider the resources required

Discuss and agree what is required to get the job done. Consider people, location, premises, equipment, money, materials, other related activities and services. Make sure they are available. Nothing is more de-motivating than being given a task without the resources necessary to complete it.

Agree the deadlines

When must the job be finished? Or if it is an ongoing duty, when are the review dates? When are the reports due ? And if the task is complex and has parts or stages, what are the priorities?

Support and communicate

Think about who else needs to know what’s going on (stakeholders), and inform them. Involve the other person in considering this so they can see beyond the issue at hand. Do not leave the person to inform your own manager or your peers of their new responsibility. Warn the person about any awkward matters of office politics.

Give feedback on results

It is essential to let the person know how they are doing, and whether they have achieved their aims. If not, you must review with them why things did not go to plan, and deal with the problems. You must absorb the consequences of failure, and pass on the credit for success.

Publicize success

Nothing will motivate your team more than hearing about a member’s success and knowing others in your organisation know what has been achieved.  Reward and reinforce success by publicizing it – make opportunities to talk about it.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

TEN STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL DELEGATION

Delegation is one of the most important management skills. Good delegation saves you time, develops your people, can be used to groom a successor, and it motivates your team. Poor delegation will cause you and your team frustration – it de-motivates and confuses the other person, and fails to achieve the task. So it’s a management skill you need and that is worth improving. Here are some simple steps to follow to get it right.

1 Define the task

Confirm in your own mind that the task is suitable to be delegated. Does it meet the criteria for delegating? Is the task

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Agreed
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound
  • Enjoyable ideally or at least ethical in that it is worth doing!
  • Recorded
2 Select the individual or team

What are your reasons for delegating to this person or team? What are they going to get out of it? What are you going to get out of it? Be clear about why you have chose this person!

3 Are they competent to do the task?

Is the other person or team of people already capable of doing the task?  If not, can their training need be met in time to compete the task?

4 Explain the reasons

You must explain why the job or responsibility is being delegated. And why to that person or people? What is its importance and relevance? Where does it fit in the overall scheme of things? You need to give as much information as you can!

5. Be clear about the desired result

What must be achieved?  Make sure they have understood by getting feedback from the other person. How will the task be measured? Make sure they know how you intend to decide that the job has been done.  Be clear about the standard and quality you expect and how this will be judged. What reports will you require as the task is being completed? What methods of checking will you use – be clear at the outset and agree them with the person doing the task.  This will avoid later frustrations.

6 Consider the resources required

Discuss and agree what is required to get the job done. Consider people, location, premises, equipment, money, materials, other related activities and services. Make sure they are available. Nothing is more de-motivating than being given a task without the resources necessary to complete it.

7 Agree deadlines

When must the job be finished? Or if it is an ongoing duty, when are the review dates? When are the reports due ? And if the task is complex and has parts or stages, what are the priorities?

8 Support and communicate

Think about who else needs to know what’s going on (stakeholders), and inform them. Involve the other person in considering this so they can see beyond the issue at hand. Do not leave the person to inform your own manager or your peers of their new responsibility. Warn the person about any awkward matters of office politics.

9 Feedback on results

It is essential to let the person know how they are doing, and whether they have achieved their aims. If not, you must review with them why things did not go to plan, and deal with the problems. You must absorb the consequences of failure, and pass on the credit for success.

10 Publicize success

Nothing will motivate your team more than hearing about a member’s success and knowing others in your organisation know what has been achieved.  Reward and reinforce success by publicizing it  – make opportunities to talk about it.

BE A GREAT BOSS IN A RECESSION – 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR LISTENING SKILLS

Being a good boss is always the way to get the best out of your team.  This becomes more, not less, important during a recession when every resource available to you counts.  Even if you have to let people go, there is a right and wrong way to do it.  We have suggested 10 ways in which you can be a great boss. Listening is an important part of recognizing people and their contribution and making them feel part of your team.

To enhance your listening skills, you need to make sure the other person knows that you are listening to what he or she is saying.  lf if you’ve ever been engaged in a conversation when you wondered if the other person was listening to what you were saying – you will know how important this is. You begin to wonder if your message is getting across, or if it’s even worthwhile continuing the conversation.  It make you feel the other person doesn’t put much value on you and what you have to say.

You can acknowledge what someone is saying just with  a nod of the head or a simple “uh huh.  You aren’t necessarily agreeing with the person, you are simply indicating that you are listening. Using body language and other signs to acknowledge you are listening also reminds you to pay attention.  They help you to concentrate on what they are telling you and help you understand the real message.   Try to respond in a way that encourages the other person to continue speaking, That way you can get the information you need.   An occasional question or comment to recap what has been said communicates that you understand the message, as well as clarifying for you.

Here are five ways to improve your listening skills and to reassure the other person that you are really hearing them!

  1. Concentrate
    Give the speaker your undivided attention and acknowledge the message.  Look at the speaker directly and concentrate on what they are saying with an open mind.  Don’t let yourself be distracted by anyone or anything else.
  2. Use your body language
    Use gestures to show you are listening.  Nod, smile and use the appropriate facial expressions. Make sure your posture is open and inviting and make small verbal comments – yes, no and even uh huh!
  3. Give feedback.
    Our own prejudices and preconceptions can interfere with what we hear.   So reflect as you listen and then play back to the person what you think they just said – “ It sound like what you saying is”– followed by a short summary .  Or ask a question for clarification – “Is this what you mean..?”  Summarizing back to ensure you understood correctly reassures the person that you really are interested and listening
  4. Hold back on judgment.
    Don’t interrupt, its frustrating as well as discourteous – it wastes your time and theirs,  Let them finish – don’t role out counterarguments until you are absolutely sure they are appropriate.  Let the speaker finish their point first and make sure you understand it properly – concentrate on the speaker, not your self
  5. Treat the person and their message with respect
    Act with respect and understanding. The speaker is giving you a gift  – you are gaining information and perspective.  Be grateful – you may wish to dispute their argument but do it with respect.  Do not attack the speaker.  Be candid but constructive in your response

Above all treat the other person as you would wish to be treated!

Try the approach and then let us know if it worked for you!

MANAGING CHANGE – LEAN THINKING/LEAN WORKING

Lean Working“, is an approach  that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination. Working from the perspective of the customer who consumes a product or service, “value” is defined as any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for. Basically, lean is centered around creating more value with less work.

Lean is an improvement approach to improve flow and eliminate waste that was developed by Toyota.  It is focused on getting the right things to the right place at the right time in the right quantity to achieve perfect work flow, while minimizing waste and being flexible and able to change.

Lean brings into many  sectors, new concepts, tools and methods that have been used effectively to improve process flow. Tools that address workplace organization, standardization, visual control and elimination of non-value added steps are applied to improve flow, eliminate waste and exceed customer expectations.

Lean principles

  • Specify value from the standpoint of the end customer by product/service family.
  • Identify all the steps in the value stream for each product/service family, eliminating every step and every action and every practice that does not create value.
  • Make the remaining value-creating steps occur in a tight and integrated sequence so the product/service will flow smoothly toward the customer.
  • As flow is introduced, let customers pull (ask for) value from the next upstream activity. .
  • As these steps lead to greater transparency, enable managers and teams to eliminate further waste, pursue perfection through continuous improvement.

Further Reading – “Lean Thinking “ by  James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones 1996

WELL ESTABLISHED WAYS TO MANAGE CHANGE – THE KOTTER MODEL – STEP EIGHT:ANCHOR THE CHANGE

In an earlier post we said there were a number of recognized approaches to structuring a change management programme and we introduced the Kotter model

The model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organization or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. we have already dealt with Step One: Create Urgency, Step Two: Form a Powerful Coalition, Step Three: Create a Vision for Change, Step Four: Communicate the Vision , Step Five: Remove Obstacles , Step Six: Create Short-term Wins and Step Seven: Build on the Change

Step Eight: Anchor the Changes in Corporate Culture

Last step, to make any change stick, it has to become part of the core of your organization! Your corporate culture often determines what gets done, so the values behind your vision must be shown in day-to-day work.

You should make continuous efforts to ensure that the change is seen in every aspect of your organization. This will help give that change a solid place in your organization’s culture.

It’s also important that your company’s leaders continue to support the change. This includes existing staff and any new leaders who are brought in. If you lose the support of these people, you could end up back where you started.

What you can do:

  • Talk about progress every chance you get. Tell success stories about the change process, and repeat other stories that you hear. Give everyone a clear picture!
  • Include the change ideals and values when hiring and training new staff.
  • Publicly recognize key members of your original change coalition, and make sure the rest of the staff – new and old – remembers their contributions.
  • Publicly reward people who demonstrate the change in their behavior – even if it is just a word in the office at their desks.
  • Create plans to replace key leaders of change as they move on. This will help ensure that their legacy is not lost or forgotten.

WELL ESTABLISHED WAYS TO MANAGE CHANGE – THE KOTTER MODEL – STEP SEVEN:BUILD ON THE CHANGE

In an earlier post we said there were a number of recognized approaches to structuring a change management programme and we introduced the Kotter model

The model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organization or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. we have already dealt with Step One: Create Urgency, Step Two: Form a Powerful Coalition, Step Three: Create a Vision for Change, Step Four: Communicate the Vision , Step Five: Remove Obstacles and Step Six: Create Short-term Wins

Step Seven: Build on the Change

Kotter argues that many change projects fail because victory is declared too early. Real change runs deep and takes time. Quick wins are only the beginning of what needs to be done to achieve long-term change – make sure you take enough time!

Launching one new product using a new system is great. But you may need  launch 10 products to ensure that the new system is well embedded and really working. To reach that 10th success, you need to keep looking for improvements.

Each success provides an opportunity to build on what went right and identify what you can improve.

What you can do:

  • After every win, analyze what went right and what needs improving.
  • Set goals to continue building on the momentum you’ve achieved.
  • Learn about the idea of continuous improvement
  • Keep ideas fresh by bringing in new change agents and leaders for your change coalition.

WELL ESTABLISHED WAYS TO MANAGE CHANGE – THE KOTTER MODEL – STEP SIX:CREATE SHORT-TERM WINS

In an earlier post we said there were a number of recognized approaches to structuring a change management programme and we introduced the Kotter model

The model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organization or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. we have already dealt with Step One: Create Urgency, Step Two: Form a Powerful Coalition, Step Three: Create a Vision for Change, Step Four: Communicate the Vision and Step Five: Remove Obstacles

Step Six: Create Short-term Wins

Nothing motivates and gives people confidence more than success. Give your company and your team a taste of victory early in the change process. Within a short time frame (this could be a month or a year, depending on the type of change), you’ll want to have results that your top team and staff can see. Without this, critics, negative thinkers and cynics might hurt your progress.

Create short-term targets which build up to your long- term goal rather than just one long-term goal. You want each smaller target to be achievable, with little room for failure. Your change team may have to work very hard to come up with these targets, but each “win” that you produce can further motivate and inspire  the entire organization.

What you can do:

  • Look for sure-fire projects that you can implement relatively quickly and without help from any strong critics of the change.
  • Don’t choose early targets that are expensive. You want to be able to justify the investment in each project.
  • Thoroughly analyze the potential pros and cons of your targets and make sure you really understand what is required. If you don’t succeed with an early goal, it can hurt your entire change initiative.
  • Reward the people who help you meet the targets.
  • Publicize what you have done

THOUGHTS ON VISIONING AND 10 WAYS TO BE BETTER AT VISIONING

Creating a vision is critical to the success of any programme and particularly Change Progammes – here are some thoughts from Coaching-Businesses-to-Success.Com
Top Ten Things About Visioning

To visualise where you are going, is deeper and more sensory than anything you have ever done before…
And these are the skills of those who are able to create a vision you can really live and breathe…:-

  1. Are Focused
    They are able to visualise in a focused and very clear way what ‘perfect’ will truly look like in the future.
  2. Involve Others
    Bring others into the contribution, such that they might try things they might never have before.
  3. Realise Core Strengths
    Whilst being ultra-keen to grow and evolve, these people are true to the core strengths of the organisation and see the future through that.
  4. Take Time Out
    Make the time for themselves and help others to free up thinking room. And use it fully.
  5. Play the Game
    They encourage a creative environment and take full part personally. They themselves set out to find ways of generating novel and fun ways to make this live.
  6. Think Big
    Top class visions may even be unattainable within lifetimes and are often part of a bigger legacy. many major corporations have 50-year (and more!) visions.
  7. Use Their Senses
    A vital part of Visioning is to be able to use all five senses as fully as possible and alos that wonderful sixth sense, the one of intuition.
  8. Are Knowledgeable
    They keep their eyes and ears open and are fully aware of the possibilities. they suck in information and ideas to help form their thinking. Media, other people, non-business analogies and metaphors too.
  9. Put Aside Beliefs
    Great visionaries can shift themselves into a different dimension when looking at the future and leave their existing beliefs outside the room.
  10. Are Evangelists
    They shout the outcome vision from the rooftops, relating so well to all of their people. They explains it in words which mean something to all involved in future success.
Ten Ways to be Better at Visioning
  1. Get Everyone Onboard
    Create a place and time when as many of your people as possible can get involved. If you can manage 10 or 1000, then do it.
  2. Create an Environment
    Get basics right. Make things feel comfortable when undertaking this activity. Make it a safe place to share. Ensure everyone involved is as relaxed and in a place to contribute.
  3. Experience Fully
    Encourage a ‘virtual walkthrough’ of the future, using good facilitation skills. Get into the moment.
  4. Keep Outputs Individual
    Make sure that everyone is able to contribute in their own way to clear the way for extraordinary insights.
  5. Celebrate Differences
    Value the differences; others are not like you are – so you will gain additional value from them. And they from being involved.
  6. Be Very Open-Minded
    How you handle outcomes will set the scene for future progress, so be very careful to listen, absorb and accept.
  7. Explore Opportunities
    The outputs from these exercises will be extraordinary. Every one is valuable and none should be dismissed. So find out more, it may create more than you think.
  8. Value Everyone
    It’s not just the ideas that are so valuable, your incredible people are too. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to celebrate how great they are, personally.
  9. Be Very Descriptive
    Take the chance to think big and encourage people to share their thoughts in glorious detail. Encourage fun through constructive anecdotes and metaphors.
  10. Live, Eat and Breathe It
    Use it as your guiding light. Use this organisational ‘highest goal’ to measure direction. Captivate people with your enthusiasm and decide every action by it.

The Coaching Business to Success Website  Visioning.

WELL ESTABLISHED WAYS TO MANAGE CHANGE – THE KOTTER MODEL – STEP FIVE:REMOVE OBSTACLES

In an earlier post we said there were a number of recognized approaches to structuring a change management programme and we introduced the Kotter model

The model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organization or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. we have already dealt with Step One: Create Urgency, Step Two: Form a Powerful Coalition, Step Three: Create a Vision for Change and Step Four: Communicate the Vision

Step Five: Remove Obstacles

If you follow the earlier steps and reach this point in the change process, you’ will have been talking about your vision and building up buy-in from all levels of the organization. Hopefully, your staff will want to get busy and be out there achieving the benefits that you’ve been promoting.

But is anyone resisting the change? And are there people (individuals or groups), processes or structures or even organisations that are getting in its way?

You need to put in place the structure for change, and continually check for barriers/blockers to it. Removing obstacles can empower the people you need to execute your vision, and it certainly helps them move the change move forward.

What you can do:

  • Identify, or hire, change leaders whose main roles are to deliver the change.
  • Look at your organizational structure, job descriptions, and performance and compensation systems to ensure they’re in line with your vision.
  • Recognize and reward people for making change happen.
  • Identify people who are resisting the change, and help them see what’s needed.
  • Take action to quickly remove barriers (human or otherwise).

WELL ESTABLISHED WAYS TO MANAGE CHANGE – THE KOTTER MODEL – STEP FOUR COMMUNICATE THE VISION

In an earlier post we said there were a number of recognized approaches to structuring a change management programme and we introduced the Kotter model

The model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organization or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. we have already dealt with Step One: Create Urgency, Step Two: Form a Powerful Coalition and Step Three: Create a Vision for Change

Step Four: Communicate the Vision

What you do with your vision after you create it will determine your success. Your message will probably have strong competition from other day-to-day communications within the company, so you need to communicate it frequently and powerfully, and embed it within everything that you do.

Don’t just call special meetings to communicate your vision. Instead, talk about it every chance you get. “Walk the talk”; be visible and let people see you as the embodiment of the change you intend to make.  Use the vision daily to make decisions and solve problems. When you keep it fresh on everyone’s minds, they’ll remember it and respond to it.

What you do is far more important – and believable – than what you say. Demonstrate the kind of behavior that you want from others.

What you can do:

  • Talk often about your change vision to make it real.
  • Be authentic – openly and honestly address peoples’ concerns and anxieties.
  • Apply your vision to all aspects of operations – from training to performance reviews. Tie everything back to the vision.
  • Lead by example.