Tips for Better Delegation

Understand the Importance of Effective Delegation

There’s a natural tendency among many productive and successful people to neglect their delegation skills. You may feel you can’t find other people who can deliver results that meet your standards, or that getting others to deliver satisfactory results is more time consuming and difficult than simply doing the work on your own.

Delegate Early

Good delegation need not absorb more time than doing the work yourself. But you get better work from your delegate when s/he has plenty of time to accomplish the task. That’s why it’s helpful to delegate a task well before the moment you would start work on it, if you were doing it yourself.

Delegate Often

Simply put, delegation is a skill you can’t perform judiciously unless you keep in practice. What’s more, since delegation offers so many advantages to improve your productivity and success, you’ll obtain larger benefits from doing it more often.

Delegate to the Right Person

It’s a common misperception that delegation involves simply handing off a task to someone else. But since people have different skill sets, experience, and knowledge, their relative ability to handle a specific task varies greatly. So part of delegating effectively is delegating to the person (or team) best suited to deliver top-level results.

Delegate with Guidelines

Another common misperception is that you can just hand-off a task to a delegate and forget about it. That might be true after you’ve delegated a number of similar tasks to the same person (or team). But for the first few times, and for every new or different task, your delegation procedure should include a detailed discussion.

  • Important details regarding the task, such as content to include in a presentation or preferred vendors to work with.
  • Expectations, goals and deadlines for completing the task.
  • Where your delegate has flexibility on the task, where s/he doesn’t.
  • Criteria for evaluating your delegate’s performance on the task.
  • A timeline for reporting progress on the task.
  • Enough information so your delegate understands where the task fits into the bigger picture.
  • Indicators that might provide warnings before the task goes off the rails.

Delegate for Training

There are often opportunities for you to delegate tasks that you might prefer to do on your own, but which can better provide training and experience to others.

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Robert Moskowitz

Robert Moskowitz

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Robert Moskowitz is a successful, award-winning writer and consultant, and the author of “How to Organize Your Work and Your Life.”