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Delegation

 

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The Art of Delegation

The most effective leaders know how to delegate smartly.  It is important for business leaders to review regularly how they delegate responsibilities.

The chart below contains four key discussion questions concerning delegation (suggested responses are provided in the right hand column).  Individuals and groups can use these questions to explore the many different facets of delegating.   

Insight  Question

Desired Responses

1. Why delegate (benefits)?

It is a performance improvement strategy; It boosts work output; It is motivational and will get direct reports involved; It taps the collective strengths of a team; It can reduce your workload; It develops the skills of individual reports; It works to build a high performance team; It boosts everyoneís self confidence.

2. What are the barriers to effective delegation?

A leaderís belief that he must do it all himself; The leaderís lack of trust in his/her reports; A leaderís belief that delegation reflects weakness; A belief that things wonít be done correctly; An unwillingness to let go of perceived power; A fear of sharing credit.

3. When is delegating inappropriate?

Do not delegate key decisions that are your responsibility; Donít delegate when the task in vague or ill defined; Donít delegate when it will overwork a report; Donít delegate a crisis situation; Donít delegate assignments that were clearly given to you to accomplish;

4. What things must be done to support a successful delegation?

Know exactly what you want done;  Identify the right person to do the assignment;  Work with the delegated report to identify what needs to be done, what resources are available, and what support he or she can expect;  Provide concrete expectations; Set standards for success, a timeline, and progress milestones; Alert key people that you have selected your delegate to do the assignment; Meet with the delegate regularly to regulate progress;  Celebrate success and give credit where credit is due.