When employees step up to managerial or leadership positions, the transition isn’t always smooth-sailing. Many take time to adjust to the shift from ‘doing’ to ‘leading’. As tasks become complex, how the individual delegates responsibilities is of utmost importance. That’s how we can spot a truly effective leader.
The best leaders in the world are masters of delegation as they know how to empower and motivate their teams. While every manager or team leader may not manage their teams the same way, delegating leadership style has its own advantages. Read on to see why the ability to delegate in leadership is crucial.
Definition Of Delegating Leadership Style
Before we look at the meaning of delegating leadership style, let’s understand what it means to delegate. Delegating refers to the process of assigning a task to others and trusting them to complete it. As a manager or leader, you’re expected to perform several tasks and meet multiple deadlines. To ensure that you achieve your objectives on time, you delegate and share the overall responsibilities with your team members.
Management theories have identified four types of leadership styles and delegating leadership is one of them. In this type, managers or team leaders assign tasks or projects to their employees, giving them a free rein to work. In other words, leaders trust their team with responsibilities and encourage them to exercise autonomy. They provide employees with the big picture and believe in their abilities to deliver agreed-upon results.
This management style developed in the 1960s and continues to be relevant even today. Here are some key characteristics of the delegating leadership style:
- You turn over control to others
- You allow people to make project decisions
- You provide people with the big picture
- You monitor activities and reinforce results
- You are accessible to anyone in need of support
The Advantages Of Delegating Leadership
Leading management theorists Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard explained delegating leadership as “handing off responsibility from a leader to a worker”. There are several benefits that leaders, employees as well as the organization can make the most of:
1. Increased Work Satisfaction
When an individual has the autonomy to complete their tasks on their own time, it increases their level of job satisfaction. They get to set their own timelines and decide what should be completed on priority. It also encourages employees to take initiative and complete work in a timely manner.
2. Improved Self-Motivation
Without constant instruction, employees are less distracted and more motivated. When they feel accountable for any task, they’re likely to be proactive and take initiative. This is especially beneficial for independent workers who thrive in self-directional environments.
3. Enhanced Empowerment
A hands-off management style is not only helpful for individuals but also useful for leaders. It places them in a mentoring and supporting role. Through consultation, they provide guidance and support to their team, empowering them in the process.
Tips For Effective Delegating Leadership
If you’re a manager or team leader who wants to switch your leadership style and approach, here are some useful strategies that’ll help you with it:
1. Make Sure Your Team Is Ready
As your team is at the core of shouldering the responsibilities, you need to ensure your team is ready to take on those tasks and projects. You can start by assigning one project to them and seeing how they complete it. If there are challenges, it’s on you to push them in the right direction and guide them. Once they start responding and performing well, it’s time to trust your team with more projects.
2. Set Hard Deadlines
While your team will be leading the projects at their own pace, it’s wise to set deadlines for them. They can navigate their way around those deadlines and keep reporting you about the project. Some ways to keep tracking progress and gathering timely updates is to set up meetings, creating spreadsheets for updates and sending timely emails. Communicate your expectations before someone starts a project.
3. Break Down Every Detail
While this may sound like a lot of work, it’s an important step. No one should be thrown at the deep end of anything or else they’ll end up confused. To avoid this, provide every detail associated with a project. Ask for feedback and make sure that your team understands everything about the tasks. Provide any links or additional material that can help them do the job more effectively. Most of all, keep all communication channels open so that they can reach out to you when needed.
The ability to delegate in leadership is a blessing. When done well, it’s highly instrumental in business growth. If you want to apply the principle of delegating leadership, it’s equally important to understand your team. Harappa’s Managing Teamwork course will teach you everything about team development. It’ll equip you with tools to imbibe a good team culture and collaborate with people with different working styles using emotional intelligence. The GRIN Framework will teach you about the key characteristics of effective teams. Get to know your team better to empower them better!
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