There are certain points of management, where you realize, what you do is no longer the most important thing is. Instead, the way you manage your work, becomes more important.
As leads, We have certain responsibilities. One of which is elevating people around us. There are multiple ways of achieving this of course, for me the most useful way is using the power of delegation.
Delegation is a hard task master. Because it has multiple aspects to it. First of all, what to delegate? Because delegating tasks that your team mates can not handle will just set you up for failure, nothing else. If you fail to distribute tasks according to the skill level of your people, what you are doing is just making them feel miserable, because they can not finish the task they are assigned to. Of course, this does not mean that you should give easy tasks.
Then comes the follow-up part. You delegated something, now what happens? Will you wait until you hear back? Or will you constantly check for status updates and become the micromanager that everyone hates? The fine line is in between. It is about setting expectations. After giving the task, you also have to set your expectations and if necessary, set a deadline. As well as discuss possible milestones where you can get updates. This way, you are setting the lines for the job to be done and also giving guidelines to the person taking the task.
Finally, feedback loop. During the execution of the aforementioned phases, you have to be candid, provide guidance and show that you care. I am not saying you have to do hand holding, but you have to show that this task matters to you, you believe in the person and his/her capabilities and you show your support.
Sounds easy, right? Well, not during the execution. Because for this to function well, you have to make sure:
- You know your people/team and their skills
- You are good at giving on point feedback
- You are good at following up
- Most importantly you have to become very good at setting expectations
Just 4 thins, how hard can it be? Don’t forget you are working with human beings and everyone of us is unique. So your approach has to differ from person to person, there is no one solution works for all method here.
What are the benefits then?
- People around you will have the feeling of accomplishment
- Since there will be constant feedback, they get to improve themselves while working on the task
- Even if they fail, they will know they have you for the support
- They will feel valued, because you will come up with tasks to keep them fresh and show your support
The biggest value for me is making people feel valued which is also a challenge for the manager. Because as a manager, you have to come to terms now that you are not the one that matters any more and the people around you should be getting most of the credits. This is also a learning for new managers.
By doing so, you are also building sort of a culture. Culture of mutual respect, showing value and taking care of each other. This is one of the milestones where you start building a sustainable working environment. At least for me.