Supervision: How Much?
When it comes to delegating, you need to control the process taking ownership and managing it. And that means paying attention to the individual components of effective delegation. You might know of the pneumatic device, PLEASED, that details these
P stands for Prepare, L for Launch and E for Educate. A stands for Authorize giving people the authority to act and S stands for Supervise. E is for Encourage, which is about motivating people and D stands for Development. Let’s now focus on S for Supervise.
The right level of supervision
The right level of supervision falls somewhere between the extremes of micromanagement on the one hand and the give and ignore approach on the other. It’s not helpful to delegate a task and then constantly meddle and request a constant stream of status updates.
Nor is it helpful to delegate something and then walk away entirely, leaving your delegates to their own devices. You need to find the right balance. The first thing to do to ensure the effective supervision or a follow-up of a delegate is to set reasonable checkpoints. Setting checkpoints at the right intervals means you won’t have to micromanage.
Review progress and provide direction
You’ll get the assurance that your delegates are on track and they’re completing the task in the way you expect. You can use the checkpoints to ask questions, review progress and provide more direction as warranted. It’s also important to make yourself available for guidance and make sure the delegates know you’re available.
And let them know they can approach you when needed and what they can expect from you. Set aside time for guiding and providing help in any way that may be necessary. And then trust your delegates to deliver. It’s important that delegates see and genuinely believe that you trust them to execute. Let them get on with the task you’ve assigned.
Coaching through difficulties
It’s okay, necessary in fact to ask to be informed of progress. But don’t be overly controlling. The final aspects of effective supervision are coaching the delegates through difficulties and then recognizing their successes. When difficulties arise, work with them to address the issues.
Coach, advise and show them how to take things forward. But don’t actually do the work yourself. They need to learn self-sufficiency in order to develop themselves. And this may mean pointing them to other people who may be able to help or other resources they can use to get back on track.
Get the balance right
By the same token, make sure you recognize even their smallest successes. This keeps them motivated, enthusiastic and ensures that you’ll get the results you need. Supervision of delegates is a key component of effective delegation.
It’s important to get the balance right between being to hands-on and too distant. Setting checkpoints, ensuring you’re available for guidance, trusting your delegates, coaching them through problems in difficult times and recognizing their successes help achieve that balance.
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