Help, I don’t know how to delegate!

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Can't delegate? It's a shame: for you, and for your employees! But it's never too late to do it right. Here is a user guide to learn how to delegate in 5 steps.

1 Identify the symptoms

“Often managers are overwhelmed, overloaded and realize that they do not delegate enough or not at all, testifies Pascal Christin, coach at CSP Formation. It is a subject that comes up often in my working sessions ”. But this observation does not only bind the manager. Because if the symptoms persist, the discomfort can seriously affect the working environment. “When we think we don't know how to delegate, it often translates fears linked to beliefs like “It's better if I do it myself”, “If I delegate I lose my power” or “I am indispensable” », Observes trainer Bruno Ganem, author of the guide Be happy in the office (ed. Mango, 2011). However, these attitudes only demotivate employees. “Delegating allows managers to focus on their strategy and development missions, and employees to take responsibility and gain autonomy. ”

“The best delegation is that of a project that motivates me and that I would have had pleasure or passion to lead.”

2 Know what to delegate

Are you now convinced of the interest, even the urgency, to delegate? The first step is to understand what can be delegated. Bruno Ganem thus distinguishes the banal distribution of tasks, i.e. the manager's prerogative to say who does what, and real delegation, which involves the achievement of a goal and the transfer of part of its power “. There is also a simple way to make the difference: “as a manager, the best delegation is that of a project that motivates me and that I would have had pleasure or passion to lead, summarizes Pascal Christin”.

3 Prepare to delegate

But the thorniest remains to come: to whom to delegate? “”It is often difficult to imagine that someone else has as much information as you do,” notes Meryem Le Saget, business consultant and author of the guide. The Intuitive Manager (ed. Dunod, 2013). We find it hard to imagine, or we fear, that others can think so meaningfully. But the manager must take a positive and benevolent view of his employees. ”
“For that, you also have to know your team,” insists Pascal Christin. The elected representative (s) must be trustworthy and be able to motivate themselves on a new project. “We do not delegate to just anyone because it is also a bet. To get to know his team well, the coach suggests relying on annual interviews to survey his troops. “But we can also organize other interviews more regularly.”

4 Propose delegation

The choice is all the more important as the employee is absolutely not obliged to accept. “The subtlety is there, continues Pascal Christin. We do not get rid of tedious tasks by delegating, just as we do not offer tasks that are already part of the employee's scope of work. and that he would actually be required to accept! ”
There are rules, as Bruno Ganem reminds us. “First of all, the delegation must be proposed during an interview, and it may or may not be accepted. Then it is necessary to define the framework of the delegation, and finally to set up the follow-up and the control. ”

5 Follow the delegation

Has the employee accepted? Be careful, this is where the adventure begins because delegating does not mean abandoning the other! Bruno Ganem even suggests establishing some rules : define precise objectives and indicators of success, allocate the time and resources necessary to achieve the objectives and clearly formulate the role of each, especially in the relationship and communication of information. “At each stage of the mission, it will be necessary to measure the gap between the results obtained and the objectives to be achieved and finally to collect the information and analyze it to assess the quality of the work in progress. ”
Delegation therefore supposes a real letting go on the part of the manager as much as the personal investment of the employee.. “We have to transmit a way of thinking, a way of doing things,” observes Meryem Le Saget. We often fail on the follow-up of a delegation, so we have to make regular points. As in tennis, a coach does not teach us to do a backhand in tennis all at once! ”

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