Delegation key to effective supervision

Published: 29th April 2013 12:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th April 2013 06:22 PM   |  A+A-

Prem is on a holiday. His wife and children are completely annoyed with him because every two hours he is on the phone, checking emails, sending instructions to his team,  etc. He is panicking instead of being relaxing. His family had to virtually hijack him because he would otherwise never plan a holiday.

Instead of helping him unwind, the holiday seems to have triggered more anxiety and restlessness in him. Prem believes nobody does his job better than him. Naturally, his inability to delegate led to him not having a personal life. His team members have tried on several occasions to explain that this may lead to severe stress-related ailments, and eventually, a major breakdown in health.

Lack of trust

This happens because we do not trust others’ competency and capabilities. Prem has to start believing that he may not be an expert in certain tasks and therefore, only those with specialised skills can complete them. Unless he empowers his team members and his subordinates, they won’t be motivated to work.

When we attempt a task which is not our strength, we would be spending more time and it is not a value addition. Efficiency is critical, and what’s more critical is being effective — to understand and identify  strengths and weaknesses of team members — and delegating responsibilities. This would enhance team productivity, encourage team bonding and will keep them challenged and motivated.

How can you fix it?

For a person like Prem, he may not be confident enough to delegate, but he can initiate by first delegating a low-priority task, getting that successfully completed and then gradually moving from low priority  to medium and even high priority  tasks to competent people and allowing them to complete the same. He will definitely find considerable difference in the project moving forward more effectively. Sometimes some supervisors don’t delegate, but dump tasks on others.

Delegation is not about dumping. The person who is delegating should not breathe down the necks of subordinates. Providing guidance, direction and checking status has to be done wisely and sensibly without bringing down the confidence of the other person. Motivating and cultivating a sense of pride in them will surely increase productivity.



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