Magazine article Business Credit

Delegation: Your Key to Time Management

Magazine article Business Credit

Delegation: Your Key to Time Management

Article excerpt

Next to doing a good job yourself, the greatest joy is in having someone else do a first-class job under your direction.

In today's fast-paced, demanding work environment, credit managers often have too much to do and not enough time to accomplish it all. Lunch hours have diminished to lunch minutes, usually consisting of a quick bite while returning phone calls and completing projects. Meeting these increased demands and deadlines requires effective time management. For those who are supervisors, it also means learning to delegate.

As a credit manager, your days are likely filled with forecasting, reviewing files, analyzing portfolios and managing people. All of these responsibilities, combined with a continuous focus on customer satisfaction, can prove to be overwhelming at times. To even out your work flow, it helps to evaluate what you do each day, and identify tasks that might be distributed among your staff. While senior-level projects will require your direct input, if you develop a strategic plan for delegating less critical assignments, you'll increase your own productivity and simultaneously empower your employees.

Initially, it may be difficult to let go of certain assignments and trust others to complete them successfully. However, in the end you may discover new skills or aptitudes among your staff members that can be further developed, and the quality of your own work will improve as you focus on higher priority projects.

Getting Started

Delegation involves matching talent with responsibility and allowing staff members to play a larger role in key projects. It also helps to improve business processes by making general operating practices more efficient. As a leader, your responsibility is to achieve companywide goals and develop the skills of others - precisely what delegation accomplishes. Transferring assignments to others:

* Expands your time for other responsibilities, such as long-term planning

* Develops problem-solving and decision-making abilities among your team members, fostering their professional growth

* Increases output

* Facilitates communication and cooperation

* Motivates staff

* Establishes an atmosphere of trust

Set the Stage for Delegation

Before you can delegate, it's important to create an environment where this practice is most likely to succeed. Step away from your daily tasks and gain a big picture perspective of your organization. An understanding of organizational goals will allow you to determine where your group's projects fit into the overall direction. Familiarize yourself with the specific responsibilities and deadlines required to complete each task, and evaluate which projects are top priority.

To Whom Do I Delegate?

In general, people to whom you delegate should be qualified, willing and accountable. While they should meet your basic skills requirements, remember that specific abilities can be further developed through this and other assignments.

As you begin to delegate select projects, choose employees who are not only interested and enthusiastic, but can also communicate well. These qualities are essential. The employee must understand the importance of asking for help when needed and keeping you informed of progress. It's rare that a project is completed without any challenges, so strong verbal and written skills can be critical.

One of the best ways to delegate is to ask for volunteers. You'll likely find that those most willing to provide assistance have many of the qualities mentioned above. …

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