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  • Writer's pictureDr. Neha Kapila

Doctor Chaos to Doctor Calm-Part 3

Today, we will talk about the Art of Delegation! Have you ever had these thoughts?

  • Don’t ask for help. People might think I don’t want to work or don’t know how to do this.

  • I can do it better/faster than the other team member.

  • Let me not bother them with another responsibility/task.

  • I need to keep this situation/ problem/ task in my control.

  • I am putting undue pressure on myself, and I have too much on my plate, but I don’t know what else to do.

Every Super-Dentist and Super-leader needs help and can’t do everything by themselves. So, we need to learn to pass the baton, aka Delegate !! Being able to work as a cohesive team is amazing and vital for dental practice success. But, along with that, proper delegation of tasks and responsibilities among dental team members is also as vital to practice's success.Proper Delegation is something a lot of leaders and business owners struggle with. It was a big learning curve for me to change this thought process too. Delegation is a skill that must be incorporated by leaders in practice management and is crucial for maximizing productivity in the dental office and overall team performance. It also helps tremendously against burnout among dental team members and in making sure the right team member is performing the tasks that best suits them. Great leaders and their teams encourage each other to stretch and grow together and delegation of tasks to correct team member by the leader is first step in the process. Here are some of the strategies I use in the delegation process, while employing this crucial skill to my leadership and dental practice, to achieve best results; 1. Mindful Delegation; The ability to delegate does not just mean to delegate tasks to others randomly. It also means having the awareness and understanding of who among the team members has the necessary skills and expertise to complete the task. Mindful delegation is vital to save time and future inconveniences for the goals and tasks.

  • When delegating, take a look at your team and assign tasks to whoever has the greatest number of relevant skills for that task.Know your team member’s strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Assign them responsibilities according to that.

It seems like an obvious choice, but too many of us delegate to whoever has the lightest workload or is the most convenient esp. when pressured under time restraints.

  • Delegate and outsource tasks that someone else is equipped to do quickly and efficiently or if you don’t like doing them, instead of procrastinating and dragging them.

2. Be Clear in your Communication;

  • Explain why you are delegating this task to that particular team member and provide them with the right set of instructions.

  • Be clear and as detailed or concise as you need to be with what is expected as the outcome of the delegated task/goals that you are trying to achieve. Help the team member see it as an opportunity to learn new skills for future growth.

Doing so, encourages more trust and respect within the team and helps prevent breaks in communication or understanding. 3. Give the authority to make decisions;

  • Give the authority to make decisions related to the task and however, they choose to do the assigned task or responsibility. The teammate should feel empowered while doing the task, not as if they have more responsibilities now and are pushed to do more work without any authority or choice on how they want to complete it.

  • Foster relationships and work culture, where people feel empowered to make decisions, ask questions, and take necessary steps to complete the delegated task most efficiently.

4. Provide tools, resources, and training as part of the process; Most skills can be learned, some more easily than others.

  • When delegated a task, the team member must be provided with the tools and skills they need to complete the task, or be provided proper training for them to learn and work on those skills.

  • The team member might take longer the first few times but once learned, in the long run, it will be beneficial for you both and the overall growth of business/organization, ultimately saving more time, energy, and resources than that are spent on training and teaching them.

5. Let Go and Trust; Once a task is delegated, trust your team member to execute it in their own way.

  • You have communicated your goals or the milestones you hope to achieve. Let them now tackle problems and achieve goals in their own way.

  • Don’t look for perfection or micromanage; someone else might complete a task differently than you would. As long as you get the result you’re looking for, it’s okay.

  • Accountability will come by itself and people like it when they are entrusted on doing a good job at the assigned duties and responsibilities.

6. Give and Take Feedback;

  • Occasionally step in and verify that the task/goal is moving along as planned and delegated.

  • Feedback is the most important part of the delegation process, and it works both ways.

  • If your team has done well with a task you assigned, let them know by publicly thanking and congratulating them and offering genuine praise. If they've fallen short, don't be afraid to give them some constructive criticism too.

  • Also, invite your team to share their thoughts and opinions on how you're delegating. It gives you a crucial chance to determine whether you're providing enough information to them and communicating properly and whether you're assigning the right task to the right team member.

Be open to ideas and suggestions from your team members. They will love and respect you more for it, each day. Do you have your favorite delegation tips to include here or which you would like to use to delegate? I invite you to share your views and ideas with us.

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