Delegation is Not a Dirty Word

Delegation:  An act that gives you the comforting illusion something is being taken care of, until you have time to deal with it yourself.


Delegation really can work, if you work with it.

Before delegating a task or project to someone else, ask yourself:

  1.  Can the task be eliminated?
  2.  Who has the best skills for the task?

Potential candidates must be:

  •  Competent and responsible
  •  Motivated and punctual
  •  Understand clearly what is to be done (that’s your job!)

Steps to take when delegating include:

  1. Choose the task to be delegated.
  2. Match the person to the job.
  3. Give specific instructions/ repeat back.
  4. Set a deadline (as soon as you can is usually not a great deadline).
  5. Manage by exception (give the other party the opportunity to choose HOW they get the task done) and be ready to provide on-the-job training as necessary.
  6. Accept (or don’t) the completed task.
  7. Praise accordingly.

Two things to watch for when delegating:

  •  Participative management:  It’s important to allow the parties delegated to, to have some control over how things get done.  You should care about the WHAT, let them care about the HOW.
  • Reverse delegation:  “It’s much faster if you just do it” is the response given when you ask a party to complete a delegated task.  Watch for this and train accordingly.

Now I know at least one of you have said, really it’s just quicker if I do it.  DING DING DING- FACT!!!  Oftentimes it IS quicker if you do it yourself.  BUT, does it need to be done quickly?  Is it something that is done repeatedly?  What else could you be doing with your time?  Ask yourself these questions next time you try to use this excuse.

NEXT WEEK:  Scheduling!


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