BRAIN FOOD: Dynamic delegation

BRAIN FOOD: Dynamic delegation - Make sure you know why you're delegating. If it's because someone else can do it better or it will save your time, great. But effective delegation takes time, so if you're just being lazy or the task is small, do it yourse

by OCTAVIUS BLACK, MD of The Mind Gym, www.themindgym.com
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Make sure you know why you're delegating. If it's because someone else can do it better or it will save your time, great. But effective delegation takes time, so if you're just being lazy or the task is small, do it yourself.

Choose whom you delegate to carefully. Select someone who has core skills and the motivation to complete the challenge well. Choosing those who will put up least resistance is tempting but misguided.

Discuss what needs to be done. Ask questions: What are the problems likely to be? How will you start? Who else will you involve? Check they understand what you want by asking them to paraphrase it back to you. If they say 'Yes, I get it', it is not a guarantee that they do.

Set boundaries. Make it clear what they can do themselves (draft the report) and what should be checked (send it to the CEO).

Set up support mechanisms - eg, places and people to go to if they get stuck.

Give them space to think and act for themselves. They are not you, and so will not do it in the same way.

Give constructive feedback at regular reviews. Tell them what they are doing well and be specific about what could improve. Ask each team member for their views and approval before filing the report.

Review after the event. This will clarify how you could have delegated more effectively and assist them in seeing where they can improve, thus making future delegation easier for both parties.

Keep practising. Get good at this and you will be loved by those below you, and admired by those who see what you and your team can achieve

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