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Delegating Tasks is One of the Most Important Skills at Work

January 4, 2023

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Three coworkers work at a job site, with the project manager delegating different tasks.
Delegating important tasks to colleagues shows you trust them and frees you up to do other things.

Being able to delegate tasks is an essential skill for supervisors and project managers. It’s a delicate balance between trusting your team members and making sure the project is completed to standard. Delegating helps a manager stay in touch with their team and prevents them from taking too much, therefore becoming overwhelmed. It’s a skill that many employers look for in their hires and is an essential part of productivity in the workplace. 

What Does it Mean to Delegate?

Delegation is usually the transfer of responsibilities from the person in charge to their teammate. It doesn’t mean that the manager is dumping all their work on their subordinates. Rather, they are distributing work among the team. They delegate tasks based on a team member’s skills and abilities. 

A good manager usually knows how to complete tasks assigned, but also understands they cannot perform them all. They also shouldn’t overwhelm themselves by micromanaging the project. A manager understands that their team members have specialized skills and can probably complete the tasks more efficiently. 

Delegation is a balance of being involved in the process while also trusting your team to do their jobs. Project managers hold the project together and motivate the team forward without micromanaging every little detail. 

Important Delegation Skills to Have

Delegation is not just one skill to be mastered, but a bunch of separate skills working in tandem. When an employer is trying to fill a position, they will look for these attributes in their candidates. 

Communication 

A team leader must be able to communicate effectively with their project team. Part of delegation is helping your team understand what they are responsible for. You should be able to explain why they have been assigned a task and what your expectations for them are. 

Team leaders not only need strong oral and written communication skills, but also strong listening skills. Being a good listener is part of being a good communicator. Your employees need to know they can trust you to listen. They should know that you can effectively address their questions and concerns. 

Feedback

Despite delegating tasks to other team members, as project manager, you are still responsible for the final outcome. It is important to check in with team members and make sure all the goals are met. 

Whether or not expectations have been met, you need to give feedback to your employees. It is important for them to know if they did well or need improvement. This will help them do even better next time. 

Time Management

Be clear about deadlines and check in with your team to help hold them accountable. You need to plan in advance which tasks to delegate among team members. Knowing their strengths, weaknesses, and projected timelines will help you plan ahead for how the project will proceed. 

Training

Part of delegating is ensuring your team member has the skills required to fulfill the task assigned to them. If they don’t have the skills, it is your job to help them learn before they take on the task. 

Trust

Good managers trust their team’s skills. They outline expectations, provide feedback, offer training, and then let their employees do their jobs. Micromanaging just leaves you exhausted and your team frustrated. Trust them to do their jobs and update you when it is time to check-in. 

Learn More About Delegating Tasks with ASAP

The American Society of Administrative Professionals has a wide range of resources for admins looking to improve their craft. Learn how to delegate like a pro and discover other useful tools with ASAP. We offer articles, webinars, events, and more to help you stay current in the ever-changing professional world. Become a member today and get free weekly resources.


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