If you are like most people, delegation does not come easy to you.
There are various reasons for that, we will explore them shortly.
But the delegation process, if correctly executed, will allow for an integration and effective use of a variety of resources to accomplish an objective.
You can take the guess work out of the process by following the effective delegation tips below to achieve dynamic results.
By following our tips and steps, you can become an expert in delegation.
What is Delegation?
“If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”― John C. Maxwell
Delegation is assigning responsibility and authority to others and holding them accountable for the performance.
The main benefits of delegation are:
– for the delegator, more time and ability to focus on other high level tasks
– allows the delegate to learn new skills and abilities
– improves communication
– helps develop trust
– improves efficiency, productivity, and time management
Effective Delegation Tips
“Trust is powerful. It is also fast. It can be lost quickly. Trust is also reciprocal. If you give trust, it will be given back to you. Delegation is a result of this trust.” ― Steven R. Covey
If you want to be a great leader, you have to learn how to effectively delegate.
You will have to overcome your fears and barriers to delegation.
Some of the most common ones are as follows:
- ” I can do it better myself”
- fear of being disliked
- lack of confidence in employees
- answers must come from managers
- “it is easier to do it than explain it”
- fear of loosing control
- task too important to take risks
To help you overcome the fears and barriers keep in mind the following:
1. Why you are delegating
2. Desired benefits for you, employees, and the organization
Self Assessment As A Delegator
“Another way of building trust is to authentically delegate. Don’t assign someone work and then constantly monitor their progress and ignore their ideas.”― Scott Sonenshein
Assessing myself as a delegator should be the first step that is done. Here is an assessment tool from MindTools to help you understand how well you delegate. The results will show you whether you need an improvement in your delegation skills.
The Delegation Process
“The only reason you struggle to delegate is because you are not clear of how to achieve the results.” ― Chinmai Swamy
If followed closely, your delegation process will be successful and you will achieve great results.
a. PlanThe Delegation
- Decide what to delegate.
- Take a strategic, long term view
- Involve others in planning
b. Analyze The Tasks
- what is the task
- when is it due
- what resources are available
- what is the outcome of deliverable
c. Select A Delegate
When selecting a delegate, take into consideration the following points:
- why are you delegating ( the purpose)
- delegation is a powerful tool for empowering people
- offering opportunities for all employees
- consider workloads and expertise – theirs and yours
- identify skills and attitude needed
- match needed skills to the delegate
- plan any necessary delegate training
- manage risk/benefit by choosing appropriate level of authority
There are different levels of delegated authority that need to be made clear to both sides prior to finalizing the process:
Level 1: get the facts; I will decide
Level 2: suggest alternatives; I will decide
Level 3: recommend an alternative; I will decide
Level 4: decide; wait for my approval
Level 5: decide; act unless I say no
Level 6: act; report results
Level 7: act; report if unsuccessful
Level 8: act; reporting not needed
d. Assign The Task
To assign the task, follow the below steps:
1. Develop shared understanding and expectations about:
- what is being delegated – responsibility. authority and accountability
- why is it being delegated
- follow-up and support process
2. Build confidence and commitment by doing the following:
- plan it
- make it a two-way dialogue
- be open t suggestions that can help people be successful
- confirm mutual understanding, comfort level, commitment
- put it in writing
3. Delegate’s Checklist
- what is the task’s goal or outcome?
- what actions, assistance or resources are required?
- when is it due?
- when and how ill we follow up?
- how will it affect my workload?
- what obstacles do I foresee?
- what authority do I have?
- what are the benefits and consequences of the task?
e. Execute The Tasks
1. Inform key employees of delegate’s task and authority
2. Be available for support but foster independence not dependence
f. Conduct Regular Feedback
Plan and schedule routine follow-up meetings keeping the below in mind:
- appropriate to task and circumstances
- joint process, two-way dialogue
- update each other on progress
- catch problems early, learn, adjust
- recognize and reinforce positives and celebrate success
g. Evaluate And Improve
1. Continuously improve your capacity and capability to delegate. Ask the below questions:
- what went well
- opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness of future delegations
- how can I take advantage of those opportunities
2. Involve others in this process
“The first rule of management is delegation. Don’t try and do everything yourself because you can’t.” – Anthea Turner
Delegation might seem very overwhelming and not worth the trouble at first. But if we closely examine the many benefits of delegation, it is definitely worth the effort. Understanding what our skills as a delegator are is a crucial step in the process. Also, following the steps of the delegation process will ensure that nothing is missed and that a smooth transition follows.
I really hope you have enjoyed this article. I hope you can now see that delegation is a very important skill that you must develop as a great leader. Follow the steps and the tips outlined in this article and you will be able to enjoy the many benefits of effective delegation of tasks and the outstanding results that will follow.
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please leave them below.