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Bryan Edwards

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Great delegation or passing the buck?


Delegation skills are vital for all managers and team leaders. The advantages are immense.

However delegation performed poorly leads to de-motivation, stress and low productivity.

The delegator often blames the delegatee and tries to 'pass the buck' when very often it's their ability to delegate effectively that lies at the heart of the problem.

"If you are leaping a ravine, the moment of take-off is a bad time to be considering alternative strategies" - John Cleese

So how good a delegator are you? Consider the 10 steps....

1. Identify the task

  • Decide what should be delegated - part-task or all.

2. Identify the delegatee

  • Consider experience/skill level.
  • How much coaching is required for them to complete the task to a high standard?
  • How much time have you got?

3. Specify the task

  • Clear explanation of the task itself

4. Explain why you are delegating it to them

  • Sell it to the delegatee - what will they get out of it as well as what benefits you get.
  • If it's a mundane task at least tell them how appreciative you will be.

5. Specify outcomes

  • What will success look like?
  • How will they recognise it?

6. Establish completion date

  • Agree the target date.

7. Discuss how

  • Ask the delegatee about how they will complete the task. It can get more buy-in than telling.
  • Consider any barriers they may have to completing the task and work to overcome these barriers.

8. Identify resources

  • Time
  • Equipment
  • Money
  • People

9. Decide how/when progress will be monitored

  • Depends on complexity of the task and the risk of it going wrong.
  • May need to highlight key 'milestones' to review.

10. Identify who else needs to be informed

  • Keep people in the picture as to who does what.

For example:

  • Your manager (needs to be kept informed)
  • The team (to avoid gossip and assumptions)
  • Other departments (may 'open doors' for the delegatee).

Good luck with your delegation!

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Bryan Edwards - off shelf training materials

Read more from Bryan Edwards

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