According to a Gallup report, CEOs who excel at delegating produce 33% more revenue. These executives recognize that they cannot accomplish everything on their own and position their team to tackle tasks that they are confident they will complete, thereby empowering employees, boosting morale, and increasing productivity. In the process, CEOs free up time to focus on activities that will yield the highest returns and help the company grow. Let’s learn how the delegating leadership style works in this article.
Delegation is an important management ability. However, for some, it is the most difficult to put into practice.
What is a Delegating Leadership Style?
A delegating leadership style is a low task and relationship behavior approach to leadership in which a leader empowers an individual to exercise autonomy. Using this approach entails providing the individual with the big picture and then trusting them to deliver the agreed-upon results. A delegating leadership style works best with someone who is both confident and competent to perform. Even a modest degree of feedback from the leader here (e.g., providing suggestions) may be off-putting and, as such, perceived as a lack of confidence. This could lead to a regression in both their task-related ability and motivation.
What a Delegating Leadership Style looks like:
- Hands over control
- Gives the “big picture”
- Allows the individual to make task-related decisions
- Observes activities
- Results are reinforced.
- Is still available.
Key indicators on whether to use a delegating leadership style:
- Consistently completes this task to a high standard.
- Can operate on its own
- Commits to and enjoys carrying out the mission
- Keeps key stakeholders up to date on task progress
- Shares both good and bad news
- Is aware of their task-related competency and skill
Delegation That Works
Delegating Leadership Style Suggestions
#1. Ascertain that your team is ready to take on the responsibility.
Being able to trust that everyone on your team can take on responsibility and make their own decisions is a big part of the delegation. Some leaders believe in helicopter leadership, which entails hovering over their team’s every move and holding their hand every step of the way. This most likely isn’t you. Maybe you’re more laid back or have faith in the people you work with; both are fine, but if your employees are the same way, you may have some issues.
Try It Out: Assign a project to your work team and delegate each task to them. Assure them that you have full confidence in their abilities to complete the mission. Then, as the due date approaches, look at what has been accomplished; are they finished? Is anyone done with what they were assigned?
Is the work of high quality, or does it seem messy and hurriedly completed? If everything seems to be in order and there are no issues, then congratulations! Your team reacted well to a delegation leadership style.
#2. Set firm deadlines.
Make sure your team understands when what part of their project is due. Set up point A and point B as a supervisor. Allow your employees to get there as they see fit. Set up a meeting with everyone at your party and layout all due dates. If this is the first time, consider creating a routine for them to follow.
A visual spreadsheet or checklist will give the team something to hold on to and refer back to if appropriate. Set up reminders for them in the form of an email, an office memo, etc. They will most likely still be adapting, so a little assistance from you, as their chief, will be reassuring. This will also help them control their time.
#3. Explain all you can right away.
When teaching someone to swim, you don’t just throw them into the deep end without any guidance. The same is true for the delegating leadership style; you can’t expect your work team to know exactly what you want from them. You must illustrate what you want out of the project to the best of your ability: A Blue Print or Loose Frame Work. They’ll have a starting point, and their imagination will fuel the project from there.
Try It Out: Make a list of everything you can think of that will support your employees with this project. Set a minimum and a maximum number of sentences, minutes, and so on. if that applies to what they’re doing, and most importantly, give them the key terms and ideas for the project.
These can range from a working title about what they are doing to an explanation of why they are doing it and why it is relevant to the project as a whole. Remember, if anything different comes up, notify the team right away; they won’t be able to make adjustments or adapt their ideas if they don’t know what you know.
#4. Keep an open door and an open mind.
You are still a member of the team even though you are the boss. Make sure your employees understand this and that they can come to you with any questions, concerns, or just to bounce ideas off of you.
Try It Out: Tell your team straight away that if they need to speak to you or have any questions about their task, they can come to you at any time. Establish an open-door policy in which they may come to you and you will be able to support them with anything; note that they can not always know what they are doing, and you are more likely to have a response or a solution.
If a team member comes into your office with an idea, don’t dismiss it right away. Consider what your team member is saying. The delegating leadership style encourages your employees to forge their own course, and part of that includes giving them a voice in the process. What they come up with maybe unique, but it could also be brilliant.
#5. Set up project check-ins
Allowing complete control is a key component of the delegating leadership style. You must, however, be aware that the work is being completed. This is why project check-ins are so critical. This will keep you and your employees on track.
Try It Out: In addition to setting due dates, create check-in points. Determine the milestones that you expect to be met at each check-in. Make a point of reviewing what has been done, providing constructive criticism, and creating a list of next steps. The more often you do this, the less likely you may need to check in on staff.
#6. Take Action If Something Is Wrong
Remember, you’re still in charge. Step in if you notice anything isn’t correct, whether it’s incomplete work or errors.
Try It Out: If this is your first time using a delegating leadership style, keep an eye on your team members as they work on the tasks. Step in to lend a helping hand if it appears that they will not finish on time or have lost focus. If something goes wrong and you can’t finish on time, don’t blame your team. Create a constructive plan to overcome the roadblocks that have gotten in your way. Read Also: The Rare Value of Autocratic Leadership
So you finished your first task using a delegating leadership style? If your team responded well to your delegating leadership style, you can give your employees more responsibility! They might even ask to take on more responsibility or come up with new and exciting ideas for you and your company.
Don’t be disheartened if the project did not go as planned. If you believe in the delegating leadership model, keep trying! Delegate small tasks along the way, working your way up to larger responsibilities.