How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Being an effective manager means you are good at delegating and motivating others. I can argue that if you are good at these two skills, a manager will have almost everything they need to be successful. Of course there are more skills involved, but without a mastery of delegation and motivation, you’ll likely build teams with issues such as poor engagement, apathy, distrust and a lack of alignment.

So how does one become a good delegator?

1st: There is no such thing as a working manager. 

Trying to do the same work as your team can get you a sense of accomplishment, which likely gives you a dopamine high, a quick pat on the back, but in the long term, you’re simply burning yourself out and robbing your team of a chance to learn something new. Your team is an extension of you. The “teach a person to fish…” metaphor is very true when delegating. Too much delegation. and you’ll likely throw away a lot of bait and miss chances to catch fish. Too little delegation and you’re doing all the work and others never learn to fish, making them dependent on you. Step 1, stop being a working manager and focus on your team. Make them amazing fishermen. It sounds counterintuitive, but the best managers are trying to make themselves obsolete. Your goal is to have every person on your team, know everything you do, and they should be able to do the work better than you. If you don’t like the fisherman analogy, think of yourself as a figure skating coach or gamers coach. You can’t skate or play the game for them. You work behind the scenes so that when it’s showtime, your team shines all on its own.

2nd: It’s all about psychology. 

You have to be a coach and think of different ways to motivate others. This is the work of being a manager. Figuring out what motivates each person on your team. This requires a lot of conversation, detective work and trial and error. If you ask someone what motivates them, in my experience they will tell you something that they philosophically think is true, but it is not what really motivates them.

Most people’s motivation is a lot less altruistic and more selfish than your teammates would have you believe. This is why trust is so pivotal on a team. A team that trusts their manager will quickly get through the BS, drop their guard and become vulnerable enough to finally tell you (or more likely you’ll have to infer) what motivates them without fear of being judged.

3rd: Messaging and positioning. 

Once you understand someone’s motivation and understand how to delegate tasks, the last step is to make sure any guidance and direction you give has elements of what motivates them in it. This isn’t manipulation. It’s simply confirming to your team that you understand them. By positioning your messaging with elements of what motivates them, you are showing that you care about them and your goals are mutually aligned. Ultimately you are building further trust and building a tighter bond with your team members. This is critical as you won’t always be able to align motivation to the tasks at hand, especially in bad news situations. So by continuing to build that trust, you’re giving yourself more leeway when things go awry. I’ve heard this referred to as emotional bank points, where positive interactions which align goals to an individual’s motivation, “banks” or “deposits” points and when you can’t do this, it “withdraws” points. It is all about having some savings for those times when you have to do withdrawals, because with peoples trust, there is no loan process.

How Can AI Help this Process? 

An AI performance coach like AI Manager by 5FN can help managers to identify if they are being motivational or not, building trust or not and ultimately if they are building a positive team culture or not.

AI Manager uses a leader’s communication to provide insights and recommendations so they can improve these skills and become amazing leaders. Nowadays, people are quick to judge and even quicker to act. AI Manager ensures managers are learning to say the right things and are continually trying to proactively build a high performing team.

AI Manager isn’t trying to be an AI writing assistant that corrects the language of your communications. AI Manager helps leaders identify whom they have trust with, and whom they don’t. Whom they are motivating and whom they aren’t. Essentially, AI Manager provides guidance into where a manager needs to put their finite and limited resources. AI Manager points leaders to where they need to put additional attention and where to build a bigger “emotional bank account”.

Do you want to lead better? AI Manager by 5FN takes any manager and turns them into better leaders.

Share this post: