Mastering Delegation: Top-5 Essential Skills for Leaders

Explore the key skills needed for effective delegation. Dive into self-assessment, prioritization, communication, trust-building, and guidance. Learn how successful leaders develop these skills for impactful delegation.

How to Delegate: The Top 5 Essential Delegation Skills for Leaders

In leadership, effective delegation is the key to true mastery. But delegation is not simply task distribution; it's a tool to amplify results, maximize time, and most importantly, power growth for yourself, your team, and even your company as a whole.

Learning essential delegation skills will help those new to or struggling with it to become better at reclaiming their time, boosting their team's productivity, and propelling success. This article aims to imbue you with the skills necessary not only to master the art of delegation but also to inspire those around you to do the same.

Five Proven Delegation Skills for Effective Leaders

  • Self-assessment: Assess your strengths and weaknesses to identify tasks, skillsets, and functional areas that fall outside your expertise. This forms the foundation for strategic delegation: ensuring tasks are assigned to someone best suited for success.
  • Prioritization: Not all tasks are created equal. Any urgent task that can be completed quickly and effectively by someone else should be delegated—unless the task itself excites or energizes you.
  • Communication: Clear communication is the lifeblood of delegation. Articulate your expectations, goals, and timelines completely and clearly to ensure that team members fully understand their roles.
  • Trust: Successful delegation hinges on a foundation of trust. Build this trust, allow for a reasonable margin of error, believe in your team members' capabilities, and empower them to take ownership.
  • Guidance: Provide constructive feedback, acknowledge accomplishments, and address areas that need improvement. Consistent guidance nurtures a culture of continuous learning and empowers your team to act and think for you.

If you feel like you’re lacking in any of these areas, don’t worry. All successful delegators have started where you are now, and it is never too late to begin developing your delegation skills.

Seven Secrets of Master Delegators

Delegation improves through repetition even if, at first, you’re not comfortable or familiar with it. Start delegating tasks while focusing on the aforementioned skills, and you will naturally improve as you go. There are also seven behavioral shifts associated with becoming a successful delegator:

  • Problem-solving to problem assigning: The best delegators focus on solving problems in their zone of genius and delegate the rest.
  • Putting a dollar value on time and energy: The best delegators know their time and energy are their most valuable currency. They spend money to maximize it.
  • Giving up control: The best delegators focus on outcomes, not processes. It empowers teams to excel beyond what a tightly controlled environment could achieve.
  • Tolerance for iteration and failure: The best delegators understand that some delegations aren’t successful the first time. They iterate and are fine with short-term failure in pursuit of long-term success.
  • Leaning into creativity and experimentation: The best delegators enjoy thinking of new ways and items they can delegate. They experiment and think outside the box about how to partner with their executive assistant (EA).
  • Sharing frequent and effective feedback: The best delegators give constant, high-quality feedback. They know no piece of feedback is too small when it comes to their EA understanding their preferences.
  • Living with endless ambition: Successful delegators dream big and always want more. This leads to more success, freedom, impact, and time. Leaders who never settle for the status quo inspire their teams to aim higher and achieve more.

Once you become more familiar with the art and skill of delegation, you will see a noticeable difference in your life, like increased time and energy. This allows you to focus on the things that truly matter. To sustain these gains over the long term, here are some final tips to make sure your delegation prowess is as effective as possible:

  • Learn your assistant’s goals: Help make your assistant passionate by supporting their long-term goals. For example, you can task them with delegation in management of an intern, and give them the experience they need while still taking something off your plate.
  • Provide the necessary resources: Make sure your assistant has everything they need to be as productive as possible.
  • Ask for feedback: Having your assistant give you feedback can be just as useful as the reverse.
  • Focus on results: How to delegate without micromanaging is something many new delegators struggle to master. It’s a fine balance. But as long as the results are up to your expectations, it’s best to give your assistant freedom on how the job gets done.
  • Invest in training: Any time you spend training your assistant will be more than returned when they become a pro at whatever you need.

All in all, mastering the art of delegation requires honing these essential skills. Leaders who invest in self-assessment, prioritization, communication, trust-building, and guidance, coupled with a commitment to continuous improvement, are best equipped to take full advantage of the benefits of effective delegation.

Embark on your journey of mastering delegation with Athena's support. Contact us today to discover how our Executive Assistants can elevate your leadership experience.