Learn in Just 10 Minutes...How to Delegate. A Step-by-Step Guide to Effective Delegation

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Once clarity is established, confirm their interpretation face-to-face, or at least voice-to-voice, to avoid email misinterpretations. Engage at the right level. However, there are risks when the mix is not right: Too involved, and you could consciously or inadvertently micromanage those around you; too hands-off, and you could miss the critical moments where a supportive comment or vital piece of feedback would be essential.

This discerning approach may mean delegating some tasks to others, negotiating a reduction in your direct contribution, or just saying no while making the business case for why your effort and attention will have a greater impact elsewhere. To illustrate these strategies in action, consider Anika. The word no was not in her vocabulary, and as a result she involved herself in every team priority.


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As demand continued to rise, Anika could no longer remain credibly engaged in everything. But since she staked out her territory in the middle, various initiatives began to stagnate. As members of her team stood idly by waiting for some of her precious time to consult on, review, or approve various items, their frustration grew. Anika found herself on the edge of burnout, while confronting a potential loss of credibility with her team.

The first step for Anika was challenging the definition of her leadership mandate. The proof was that in recent months her peers were included in various strategic conversations and business development opportunities with senior leaders, yet Anika, with no energy or space for these endeavors, was dealt out of these opportunities to demonstrate her upside. She recognized that her focus on executing work was not only holding her back from the big-picture work of leading but also was the source of frustration among her junior staff.

Although it was uncomfortable, she wanted to start giving them more rope. With this refreshed vision, her next step was to reassess her portfolio. This two-column exercise quickly revealed a few mismatches where Anika was devoting too much time and energy to priorities that were not in the top five. Some of the initiatives could be completely handed off, while others could be broken down into a few smaller pieces in order to involve others without a full transfer of responsibility.

In Summary

With these new assignments in mind, she devoted 15—20 minutes preparing for each conversation. She brainstormed ways to share her reasons for the change, as well as how she could inspire their commitment. With eight team members, this was a significant investment of time on an already overloaded schedule, but Anika recognized it as a short-term cost to create long-term benefits. Within a short period of time, Anika became considerably less involved in the details, but she remained essential to the purpose and momentum of each critical initiative. Said differently, her influence was ever-present, but the bottleneck dissolved.

Finally, with the additional bandwidth she created for herself, Anika was concerned that her knee-jerk tendency to say yes could quickly erase the gains. Staying mindful of these four strategies, working out the kinks like Anika did, and becoming proficient at empowering others to deliver their best builds your capacity to get the job done through the contributions of others.

To Be a Great Leader, You Have to Learn How to Delegate Well

Then, over time, they too can be more essential and less involved. As with all effective management, clarity is everything. You need to be able to explain and agree with your employee what effective performance looks like for the delegated task. Think about using performance objective s.


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How are you going to explain to your employee why you want to delegate the task to them? Is there a developmental need it will help them with? Remember to Identify and agree the skills and knowledge needed to successfully complete the task. Agree how you can best monitor the task and share feedback.

Involve the team member — have them suggest what to report to you and when read more on monitoring performance here.

10 Steps for Effective Delegation

Recognise that your employee may know a better way of doing something than you do and accept that there may be different ways of achieving a particular task. Delegation is an excellent management strategy. This book is for managers who want a proven step-by-step guide to effective delegation — and who only have 10 minutes to read it! Would add to the following to your list.

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As you say, a great learning opportunity! This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Currently you have JavaScript disabled.

How Do You Know If You Are Ready to Delegate?

In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. How to delegate tip 1. You do the work only you can do?

Get your staff members take charge of some work which develops their ability and potential? Make the most effective use of the resources available to you? Identify the Tasks The first step in the delegation process is to identify the tasks that would be suitable for delegation.

Identify the Employee Which employee is most suited to the task?


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