Delegation – the skill adaptive leaders need today.

Delegation – the skill adaptive leaders need today.
June 1, 2020 Linda Murray

I’ve heard people saying confusion is the new normal for workers. I can understand why they say that. Companies have had to change their way of working so they can remain in business. Those who were set up for it encouraged their teams to work from home.

Great idea, right?  Not for everyone.

Suddenly companies who’ve never had remote working before now have their teams dispersed and were immediately faced with the personal, logistical, and technological change that comes with a transition to remote working. Leaders who don’t like to delegate are probably turning themselves inside out with worry because they can’t micro-manage everyone at once.

Your team is now a series of interdependent members, each working from a different location. You’ve had to let go of the reins and allow them to manage themselves and their work. You’ve been forced to delegate because there was no other option.

You might be thinking, “Don’t worry. Everything will go back to normal once restrictions are lifted.”

But will they?

What will the new normal look like?

Today I’d like you to think about the transition back into the workplace. We can’t expect people to go back to their old way of working. They’ve had more autonomy than they may have previously been used to, and in most cases, they’ve delivered as promised. They’ve proven themselves capable of self-direction. How do you think they might feel if you try to take back full control?

If you can’t go back to work as it used to be, what can you do?

The obvious answer is to let go. Delegate as you’ve had to do during the isolation period.

You now know who has managed their time well, who has delivered quality work, and who has struggled. Start planning how you can use this information to help your people settle back into the workplace.

Can you delegate more to those who have proven themselves? Delegate not just the work, but the control and responsibility for managing themselves, too.

Talk with those who struggled while working remotely to find out what was difficult, what help they might have needed and what you can do to boost them to the same confidence level as those who managed well.

There’s a lot to be learnt from the way your company and your people coped with this crisis. There may be even more to be learnt about yourself and how you managed during this challenging time. While you’re reviewing your team’s performance, take stock of your own.

  • What changes does your company need to make to support its people with delegation?
  • What can you do now to help your team cope with delegation?
  • What do you need to put into place to support your team with their work if something like this happens again?
  • Finally, what do YOU need to help you become comfortable with the delegation and strengthen your ability to lead remotely?

This may not be the only period of change you need to lead your people through. Prepare yourself. Now is the time to be practical about expectation setting, delegation and what accountability looks like.

Reach out if you would like some help with this. We can work out the best way to meet your needs.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear how you and your company coped with having your people work from home. Leave me a comment below. Your experience might be very helpful for others.

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