the art of delegation

An important thing to remember in all of this is that Delegation isn’t Abdication! In other words we are not just getting rid of a job that we either don’t like or do not want to do.  Of course in all of this, sometimes we may need to delegate quickly (to aid our time management or in an emergency) in this instance we may just select someone because we know they can do it, common sense has to be applied here.climbing

At other times we may select someone because we know they are going to struggle.  In other words they are going to be developed.  This is totally different to setting someone up to fail, they may struggle and if we want to develop them, it can be a necessity for some individuals to struggle as part of the learning process.  Remember though it is in a supportive environment and if we encourage this enough, individuals will feel happy to struggle.

The work that we are going to delegate may be identified due to a number of factors.  It could be that we are planning the individuals future and want to expose them to a different work experiences.  It may be we are succession planning, for example, we recognise this individual as a future manager and therefore we are exposing them to more management related tasks.

Ok so we have now covered the first stage of effective delegation, the selection of personnel and work that we are going to delegate.  Next we are going to look at the second stage of delegation; briefing the individual concerned.

This is a massive opportunity to really mess things up, if we don’t clearly explain things then there is a good chance that they either wont understand or that there is misunderstanding exactly what it is they are supposed to do.  We do this in the form of a brief clearly stating our expectations.

Some key things to remember in the brief are:

Tell them What it is they are supposed to be doing.

Tell them Why it is important.  When we are doing this ensure we focus on the benefits over the features.  A wise man once told me “Benefits tell & features sell”.  We are much more likely to get their buy in if we sell it to them.

We must ensure they know Where we expect the task to be conducted.

They must clearly know When it is to be completed.  In other words clear time scales involved.

And finally we must ensure they know How to do the task.  Here we may go into coaching or training mode to ensure that knowledge and understanding is present to successfully complete the task.

Ensuring we give a clear brief on what it is we expect will always ensure a successful delegation.  Grey and subjective briefs will ensure misunderstanding which is something we want to avoid at all costs.

Next time we are going to look at monitoring and giving feedback.

 

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