Doing the Impossible by Delegating Properly

One of my jobs as a manager is to help my team grow and  image expand. Delegating properly is a way to enable your team to grow.

I always found it hard to delegate, using the old school ways with 8 steps of explaining what to do and how to delegate just didn’t cut it for me.

I found myself

  • Nagging for status
  • Hearing Excuses
  • Being asked ‘How can I do it?’ and solving it myself.

Instead of having the team do the job, I found myself overloaded, asking for statuses and solving the problems myself.

Here is how I delegate with integrity:

I don’t tell the team what to do, I ask them what they can do to reach our monthly goal.
The employee will then say what he can do.
I then ask the employee if he can do it himself or needs others?Once we find the controllable actions the employee must commit to the actions.

At some point the employee will come back with a problem that only I can solve. It is very tempting to just answer, but Moti (my coach) taught me the following way to keep the task delegated and help your employee grow.

I want solutions not problems

When a team member comes with a problem, I try NOT to solve the problem (I know that I can, so it is quite hard to stop doing this). I tell the team member that I expect to hear about solutions and not about problems.
So I ask, what are the possible solution?
Doing this will make the employee think of solutions himself.

This is a great way as you will start hearing about different solutions to problem, some of them that you would never have thought of yourself. Never allow an employee to come with problems only with solutions.

I will help if you have dilemmas

A dilemma is when the employee found several solutions but doesn’t know how to choose. At this point you can help him decide. You can then talk about different values and how they are used to make this choice.

Me: What can you do to release the version on time?
Developers: I can do the ABC feature.
Me: What do you need to complete this?
Developer: Oh, I’m ok, I can do this myself

After 1 hour:
Developer: Eli, How do I get the data from the server?
Me: (stopping myself from telling the answer) How do you think that we can get the data?
Developer: Oh, Well we can get it from a Web Service or an e-mail or via a log file.
Me: Great, what do you think is the best way?
Developer: I think that a Web Service is the best as the results are immediate.
Me: Great, what will happen if the server is down?
Developer: Hmm, that will mean that we must be sure that the requests are queued, we could create a queue and a failover server, or perhaps use e-mail as our e-mails are automatically queued…
I found that when delegating properly and having the patience to allow the employee to solve it themselves, leads very quickly to amazing results, as the team grows and manages to solve challenges.

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