How To Delegate

If you can delegate a task, delegate it. Delegation is essential to your personal productivity. And it helps the delegatee learn and grow, and they become more useful to you in the process.

Here’s how to delegate…

1. Decide what it is you want to delegate.

It’s best if you can continue to delegate the task on a permanent basis. Then you can make that task part of the delegatee’s job, and no longer part of yours.  Also, leave your ego behind. You are NOT the only person in the world that can do the delegated task. And don’t delegate horrible tasks. If you’ve got some horrible tasks, find a way to get rid of them.

2. Clarify the results you want.

Be specific and put a timescale on completion. Give the necessary resources. If appropriate, tell others what you’ve done so that if they normally assist you, they can now assist the delegatee.

3. Delegate the result you want, not the method.

Give the delegate space to do things her way. It’s a common mistake to delegate both the task and the method. This is suffocating.

4. Be patient.

The delegate will not be as skilled as you are straight away, but they will learn. Coach them. Trust them. Don’t micromanage them.

5. Recognition.

Recognise them when the task is over and say thank you.

In my experience, people in organisations usually work at far too low a level. Almost everyone is capable of performing at a much higher level and would enjoy the chance to do so. It’s your role as a manager to help your staff reach their potential.

With effective delegation, you can raise your game and your team’s game – it’s a win-win, and it’s one of the major elements of effective personal and organisational productivity.

What can you delegate right now?


One Response to How To Delegate

  1. Eilidh Milnes October 18, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    Delegation is something I do willingly – from encouraging my ex-Army husband to train our children to iron their own clothes (I am proud to say I have not done ironing for decades!) to my delegating to my PA, Zoe who willingly takes on admin task I detest.

    Rewarding the person you have delegated to is vital. In fact, you might enjoy this Dan Pink video or how to reward/motivate. A client of mine, a regional HR Manager with high street fashion retailer, sent it to me:

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