Effective Delegation

A principle leadership skill is the art and practice of effective delegation. If you are good at your job then it is likely that people and customers will want more from you. Whilst your business is growing this is an excellent thing; however you may reach a point when you feel a real sense of pressure, of being overwhelmed, stress, and a sensation that you may be letting people down. The growth of your business, your career, becomes limited. The most effective way of overcoming this limitation is to learn and master the art and practice of delegation. The Ten Principles of effective delegation.

The following principles may give a guideline to managing the process of effective delegation successfully.

1) Clearly articulate the desired outcome. Begin with the end in mind and specify the desired results.

2) Explain why you have chosen the particular task to de delegated and why you have chosen the particular person to delegate this task to. Is the delegation part of the development process of this person?

3) Delegate to the lowest possible level in the organisation. This principle is based on the idea that the people closest to the coal face, closest to the work, are the most knowledgeable of the details of everyday work.

4) Identify the constraints and boundaries. What are the lines of authority, the responsibility and accountability? Decide if the person whom you are delegating the task to must wait to be told what to do, or should they initiate action? Should they make recommendations or should they act and then report back?

5) Remember that if you are delegating a task you are only delegating the task – the responsibility for the task remains with you.

6) Use the time that you have created for yourself to provide adequate support to your colleagues who you have delegated tasks to. Great, regular, communication and supportive monitoring is a key to successful delegation.

7) Keep your focus on the results of the delegation and not in the way that your colleagues are doing the task. Allowing an individual to control her own process and methods of completing a task will build trust and confidence.

8) When things are not progressing well avoid upward delegation i.e. accepting the task back. When a problem occurs seek recommendations and possible solutions from your colleagues as doing this will accelerate learning – providing answers will not.

9) Establish time and dates for updates – more often at the start of the project and less frequently as the colleague takes hold of the task.

10) Make time and take time to review work that is submitted to you.

Initially, initiating effective delegation takes time and commitment on your part, but once your skills in delegating increase your will reap significant rewards. Your team will grow in terms of ability and commitment to the business. The quality of your life will improve as you will have more time to focus on the things that are most important to you.


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