One Skill That Will Make You Better at Your Job as an RD and a Manager
By Amanda Rubizhevsky MPH, NC
Training as an RD and jumping into a managerial role comes with a steep learning curve, for some as big as learning the retail lingo. You are expected to manage a team and get things done – both could equally be full time positions! And think about it, as a manager, isn’t everything that happens on your watch your responsibility? So how do you make sure everything gets done? Well, the best place to start is to delegate more.
Yes, by taking things off your plate and giving your team the opportunity to develop new skills you will become a better manager. By delegating more, your team will also gain exposure to higher levels of management and suppliers, and you reduce your workload. It’s a win-win.
One of the first steps to delegating more is to let go of the idea that you can do it all—you can’t and you shouldn’t. The truth is that you cannot successfully manage and develop a team without sharing the work. You might be thinking: if I just do it myself it will do it better and faster. There is a difference between you doing it better and you doing it differently. Often, you’ll find that when you delegate a task, the finished product isn’t exactly what you would’ve produced, but that doesn’t mean it’s not as good or as effective.
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to help you delegate (courtesy of Wendy Capland):
- What is the best use of me in this moment?
- What do I have on my plate that would be great for me to get rid of and would be a learning opportunity for someone else?
- What are my top three priorities this week/month/day and what other things could go to someone else?
- How much time have I blocked out on my calendar for strategic thinking and planning this week?
- How many times a day do I answer questions and problem solve when I could be teaching those individuals to think for themselves?
To successfully delegate you need to have a plan to follow up with your team. Help set milestones to measure results and be clear about what you want by when. This will also keep you from micromanaging your team. Make sure your team knows who is accountable for what, but do know that when we delegate, we are not just resigning responsibility… we're still accountable for the results no matter who is actually doing the work.
What will you delegate today?