Developing the potential of our colleagues and employees is one of the pillars of any manager’s role. Effective delegation skills are therefore a critical part of a manager’s armory of assets.
There is no short cut to the art of mastering delegation but here are some ideas which we hope you will find useful.
Almost any task can be delegated. On a daily basis we routinely delegate work which, in theory and in practice, we could do ourselves. Think about it. Did you delegate the making of your lunch today? Do you delegate part of the education of your children? Do you delegate the farming, transportation, and preparation of the food you will eat tonight?
Here is a seven step system of delegation that we have found to be effective in supporting managers with their mastery of delegation. Good luck with WORDUSE for DELEGATION
1) Why are you delegating this particular task – explain the reasons to your colleague. If it’s because you trust them to do a great job then tell them. Delegation is also about the personal development of your colleagues – explain this to them too.
2) Outcome – be clear about what outcome you desire and what is expected. If your colleague has a clear picture (and you do too) about what is expected then there is a good chance you will both succeed.
3) Resources – detail precisely what resources are available… and remember that the most valuable resource is probably you and your knowledge. Explain that this is available too!
4) Deadlines – set and agree progress reporting deadlines, set and agree milestones. Better to have the deadlines close together initially. Once you, and your colleague, are confident that the task is in hand, understood fully, and proceeding well then the frequency and intensity of reporting can be reduced.
5) Understanding – check that there is understanding of your communication by asking your colleague to explain in their own words about what is required, when, and why. A useful question that you could ask might be “So that I can make sure that I have explained everything clearly please can you tell me in your own words precisely what I have asked you to do?” After all in communication what is important is what is understood, not what was actually said or was actually written down.
6) Set controls – there is a difference between delegation and abdication. In delegation you are fully responsible for the eventual outcomes. Set up and agree controls, for example, around financial expenditure, use of other team members, and use of outside agencies.
7) Encouragement – offer support and encouragement. The idea is that the task will be completed on time and to an excellent standard. Much more chance of this happening with your support and encouragement!
At Wentworth Jones we offer a range of in-house leadership and management development courses aimed at enabling you and your business in being even more successful. Please contact us today for a no obligation discussion about your ideas and requirements.