Many entrepreneurs and managers are frustrated because their staff members don’t get the job done with a high degree of excellence and attention to detail. And they worry that little things like typos, and big things like not getting back to clients quickly enough, will cost them their reputation and clients or promotions. Does this sound familiar?
Stop Making the Single Biggest Mistake Leaders Make
Here’s the problem: you hire someone, pay them, and expect them to do the job. You think they are an adult and they’ll figure out how to get the work done. Wrong! You’ve just made the second-biggest mistake leaders make: you have delegated the work without providing any guidance, training, or coaching. (The biggest mistake is micromanaging.) And you may not have clearly defined your work-product expectations. Keep reading to learn how to supercharge your organization’s performance, one employee at a time, without micromanaging.
Delegate, Check In, Repeat!
The process is quite simple and easy to execute. By using The Arudia Coaching Model as your guide, you will be able to effectively delegate, provide support while you develop your staff, and avoid disappointing work product, all while saving yourself time and the headache of poor-quality work.
The coaching model below outlines a five-step problem-solving process; what makes it coaching is using open-ended questions at each step.
Delegate: To effectively delegate, follow these five steps:
Step 1: Establish the Focus of the conversation, which means asking open-ended questions to clarify the topic, goal, and takeaway for the conversation. This step is often the most important, because a problem well-defined is half solved.
This is also the only step in which you will likely not ask questions, but instead start the delegation process by clearly defining the task, including the end product. The takeaway for the meeting will likely be defining the strategy, including the necessary support, for accomplishing the task.
Step 2: Brainstorm Options to the challenge by asking your team member open-ended questions to identify strategies. It’s critical for your team member to do their own thinking here. Wait to share suggestions.
Step 3: Create the Action Plan, which is especially important for complex problems and for team members who garner comfort from working out detailed steps or get stuck easily.
Step 4: Remove Obstacles and identify resources is an often-overlooked step and is necessary to successfully execute the plan created in Step 3. Don’t forget it!
Step 5: Review & Commit is often the most-forgotten step and, especially if your team member struggles to remember details and steps, is critical to ensuring that you are both on the same page with respect to who does what by when.
Check In: Don’t end the meeting at Step 5 without establishing when you will have your progress check-in meeting. Ask your team member when they’d like to check in, suggesting sooner if you think the timeframe is too long.
Repeat: Start the coaching process again to tackle any challenges and unforeseen resource needs.
If you want to read more about how to use coaching to delegate, download my article Dealing with Underperformance, published in the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Today.
If you find this useful, please share with your colleagues and friends and let us know what you’ve done to delegate effectively!