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Team Management Skills: The Core Skills Needed to Manage Your Team

The Importance Of Delegation

There's only so much that you can achieve working on your own, that's why it's important to delegate effectively. To successfully delegate:

  • Explain what your team's role and goals are. Or even formalize it in a team charter, which can also be useful for keeping the team on track.
  • Think about the skills, experience and competencies within your team, and start matching people to tasks. 

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Team Management Skills: The Core Skills Needed to Manage Your Team

Team Management Skills: The Core Skills Needed to Manage Your Team

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_92.htm

mindtools.com

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Key Ideas

The Difference Between Managers And Leaders

Leadership involves creating a compelling vision of the future, communicating that vision, and helping people understand and commit to it.

Managers, on the other hand, are responsible for ensuring that the vision is implemented efficiently and successfully.

The Importance Of Delegation

There's only so much that you can achieve working on your own, that's why it's important to delegate effectively. To successfully delegate:

  • Explain what your team's role and goals are. Or even formalize it in a team charter, which can also be useful for keeping the team on track.
  • Think about the skills, experience and competencies within your team, and start matching people to tasks. 

Motivating Your Team

Whatever approach you prefer to adopt, you also need to bear in mind that different people have different needs when it comes to motivation. 

One size does not fit all. Some individuals are highly self-motivated, while others will under-perform without managerial input, and you need to be able to handle both. 

Developing Your Team

Teams are made up of individuals who have different outlooks and abilities, and are at different stages of their careers. Some may be challenged by the tasks you assign and need help while others may be unchallenged, and may be looking for opportunities to stretch their skills.

It's your responsibility to develop all of your people and doing so makes you a manager people aspire to work for. The most effective way of developing your people is to ensure that you give regular feedback to members of your team.

Communicating With Your Team

Meetings of all kinds, and regular ones in particular, are notorious for wasting people's time, so it's well worth mastering the skill of running effective meetings.

Being in charge, it’s easy to assume you know what others are saying, or that listening isn’t important and that your solutions are better. But learning active listening is key as it allows early detection problems, avoids costly misunderstandings, and builds trust within their teams. 

With People Outside Your Team

  • Understand fully what your boss wants from you and your team so you'll be better able to meet with their approval.
  • Ask your boss to coach or mentor you. You can usually learn a lot from him, but he may not be proactive about offering this. Think through things as far as you can before you approach them.
  • Look after your team and protect it from unreasonable pressure. Learn skills like assertiveness and win-win negotiation, so you can turn work away or negotiate additional resources.
  • Manage interactions with other groups. Use stakeholder analysis to identify groups relevant to you as well as what they want and what they offer. 

Managing Discipline

When you are faced with potential discipline issues, take time to gather information about the situation, decide what you're going to do, and act. Discipline issues often get worse and rarely go away by themselves, bringing conflict to the team.
Use these rules-of-thumb to decide if you need to take action. If the answer to any is yes, then you need to arrange a time to speak to the employee in private:
  • Does the issue affect the quality of the employee's deliverable to the client?
  • Does the issue adversely impact the cohesiveness of the team?
  • Does the issue unnecessarily undermine the interests of other individuals in the team?

Traps To Avoid

  • Thinking your current job knowledge and technical skills are enough to be a manager. Good management and people skills can be more important than technical skills.
  • Failing to consult regularly with your boss, in an attempt to show that you can cope on your own.
  • Approaching your boss without having thought a problem or its solutions through.
  • Failing to assess what your customers want from you and your team.
  • Using your authority inappropriately or not in the interests of the organization.

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The importance of managing expectations

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Communicate clearly and frequently

Communication is essential and comes first when setting expectations with your team.

Have a plan in place from the start to ensure your team understands what you are expecting from them.

For example, should they report every task they complete? Is there a set amount of time in which they should be able to reply to emails?

Roles and responsibilities documents

Your team will work as a unit if every member is aware of their own responsibilities and the importance of their work in the organization.

This can be accomplished by creating a document that describes their role in the company in detail.

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It’s crucial for your team to know exactly what is expected of them.

The unwritten rules about the level of quality expected in the work, and the depth of knowledge that needs to be displayed, are what defines a successful work project.

What are the boundaries of an employee’s responsibilities? What are and what aren’t the roles of the job?

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Communication is one of the most critical components of organizational life, and it is far too important to leave to chance.

What’s the preferred way of communicating, both formally and informally? What should be the frequency of communication? What are the protocols for communication at different levels – while reporting to the manager or even upper management?

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Treat Everyone with Respect

When you're building a team or company, you simply can't afford to lose great people. Treat them with respect and you're one step closer to keeping them on your team long-term.

Encourage Dissent

To do great things, you and your people need to consistently think outside the box. You need people who feel very comfortable disagreeing with you, trying new things, tossing out new ideas, and being okay with the fact that several of their ideas may turn out to be outright awful.

Make the Final Decision and Move On

If you are the manager, make final decisions. And to do so decisively: evaluate all the options in front of you, hear and absorb everyone's arguments, and ultimately make the final call, with arguments. 

Even if you've expressed dissent as an employee, it'll benefit you to let your manager make their call and then focus on what's next, rather than staying preoccupied with past decisions.

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Delegation = effective management skill

Without the ability to delegate effectively, it is impossible for you to advance in management to higher positions of responsibility.

Learning how to delegate is not only about maximiz...

Delegation method and staff experience
  • For new and inexperienced in the job staff -  use a directive delegation style (Tell exactly what you want them to do).
  • For staff that has experience in the job (they know what they are doing) - use the effective, management by objectives delegation method (Tell people the end result that you want and then get out of their way).
  • When the staff person is completely experienced and competent, your method of delegation in this case is simply, easy interaction.
Question to consider when before delegating
  • Who can do this job instead of you?
  • Who can do this job better than me?
  • Who can do this job at a lower cost than me?
  • Can this activity be eliminated altogether?

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Be Consistent

You must reward the same behaviors every time they appear, discourage the same behaviors when they appear and treat every member of your team with an equal, level-headed view.

Communicate Properly

How you communicate with your team can dictate your eventual success. To avoid miscommunication and to keep your team updated, always strive for clarity, accuracy, and thoroughness on your communication.

Aim To Work as a Team

Have your team work for something together.

Setting goals just for the department or one individual breeds isolation and a limited mentality. Instead, give staffers a unified focus and purpose, to inspire them together.

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How Is Employee Retention?

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Do Employees Know What’s Expected Of Them?

Good managers provide continuous feedback to them. This allows the employee to quickly make course corrections and to feel successful.

Employers should be mindful of those they promote into leadership positions. Strong communication skills are a must when leading a team of people and coaching on this area might be necessary for some.

Do Employees Feel Cared For?

A good manager is empathetic to people and demonstrates this routinely.

If empathy is not a trait in a candidate for management, pair them with a leader who can mentor them on how to manage people before promoting them.

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Hire the right people

Design your hiring process with remote candidates in mind. Look for 3 main things:

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Put extra effort into onboarding

Remote workers won’t have the opportunity to be involved in spontaneous conversations or team lunches, but there are other things you can do to help them settle:

  • provide info with new job critical stuff: team member introductions (personal bios, photos, advice for new employees), HR training links, task checklists, long-term goals, and more.
  • assign mentors to new hires, who schedule regular video check-ins, make themselves available on Slack and make new employees feel welcome.
Default working setups

Remote workers need a dedicated, quiet space to do their work, so it’s important to set some guidelines:

  • encourage workers to join coworking spaces;
  • encourage workers to set a dedicated insolated space at home for work, with suitable furniture;
  • fast reliable internet access;

They can still work from a coffee shop every once in a while, but they need a good default setup. 

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Delegation

In a work setting, it means the transfer of responsibility for a task from a manager to a subordinate. 

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Top Delegation Skills
  • Communication: explain what the task is, what the expectations are, and listen to any questions and concerns.
  • Giving Feedback: provide clear feedback on what they did well, what they struggled with, and why.
  • Training and Assessment of Tasks:  make sure your staff has the skills and abilities necessary to perform the task. This might require some training.
  • Trust: Lay out clear expectations, and provide feedback, but do not micromanage while the employee works on the task.
Probe Work That Seems Ok

If the work is reported to be ok or fine by your subordinates, maybe you need to dig in deep and probe more.

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Strategize Around Strengths 

It pays to highlight the strength an employee brings and then to work on minimizing the weak aspects. Start and work with the impact and value the employee is making to your team.

Define Ownership

Ownership and accountability need to be defined so that your team knows who is responsible for what.

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A sense of direction

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Work on universal skills

Learn skills you can always rely on:

  • Self-Discipline: Get better at ignoring the negative voice in your head.
  • Personal Effectiveness: Learn how to maximize your results.
  • Communication - both art and science.
  • Negotiation: You negotiate all the time. Learn to get the best deal for all parties.
  • Persuasion: Learn how to get what you want in an ethical way.
  • Physical Strength & Stamina
  • Flexibility: Learn how to stretch your hips, lower back, hamstrings, and calves.