After watching several ministry leaders assume broader departmental responsibilities, I can say with confidence that one of the most difficult transitions for new Managers/Supervisors to make is the shift from doing to leading. As a new department Manager/Supervisor your temptation will be to hold on to the work you did so effectively as an individual ministry leader. Peers and bosses may even appreciate your willingness to “get down in the trenches” and help with tactical and logistical assignments. But, now as a leader with broader supervisory and bigger picture management responsibilities you must learn how to delegate and oversee rather than do all the work. And, this requires an entirely different skill set.
Top Six Delegation Skills To Look For
When churches are hiring and promoting employees to management and supervisory roles, they should seek candidates with effective and proven delegation skills. Regretfully, examination of these skills are rarely included in the job search process. Here are the top six delegation related skills church leaders should look for when hiring or promoting employees.
Communication: Managers/Supervisors need to be able to communicate clearly with their staff when delegating. They have to explain why a direct report has been assigned a task, what the task is, and what the deadlines and expectations are. All of this requires effective oral and written communication skills.
Listening, Questioning and Observing: Effective delegation also requires the ability to listen attentively, ask good follow up questions, and observe well to make certain a direct report understands instructions and that miscommunication is quickly noted and corrected.
Equipping: A Manager/Supervisor must have equipping, coaching, and mentoring skills because often a direct report will lack the necessary skills and experience to satisfactorily accomplish the delegated task. Many times they will require the Manager/Supervisors insights and expertise.
Feedback: Effective delegation also requires a Manager/Supervisor who can provide effective feedback, reinforcement, accountability and evaluation throughout the duration of the delegated assignment. This requires the Manager/Supervisor to regularly monitor and check in with the direct report to see how the assignment is going.
Resources: Another delegation skill required of a Manager/Supervisor is that of providing the resources necessary to accomplish a delegated task. Whether it is technology related, pertinent information, or access to people inside or outside the organization, an effective delegator has the ability and willingness to identify and then facilitate the resources the employee needs to effectively accomplish the delegated responsibility.
Trust: Often new Managers/Supervisors have difficulty in trusting their direct reports to do as good a job as they would. A good delegator has to trust the skills of their employees and not micromanage their work. Most would agree that trust is the key to effective delegation.
Church leaders should know that research demonstrates that Managers/Supervisors can increase their productivity by more than 20% by delegating as little as 10% of their workload to someone else. Further, they need to embrace the idea that it is a sign of effectiveness when a leader has the ability to enable their employees to get things done through delegation. Finally, church leaders must recognize that there is an art to delegating and that specific and identifiable skills are required. The good news is that these skills can be learned and developed with persistence and practice.
Posted on May 4, 2021