To Delegate, Or Not To Delegate: That Is The Question

Delegation is the hardest skill for any manager to learn. “If I delegate, things will be out of my control. I don’t want mistakes. I can do it all myself. It is easier to do it myself then explain it to someone else.”   Fear can be a hindrance for managers to effectively delegate. But it should not be…

The definition of delegation is:

Delegation (also called deputation) is the assignment of authority and responsibility to another person (normally from a manager to a subordinate) to carry out specific activities. However the person who delegated the work remains accountable for the outcome of the delegated work. Delegation empowers a subordinate to make decisions….Delegation, if properly done, is not abdication. The opposite of effective delegation is micromanagement, where a manager provides too much input, direction, and review of delegated work.

Delegation is important because it:

  • It enables the manager to spend more time on more important tasks.
  • It is a good way of developing staff that wish to move up in the company.
  • If done effectively can be highly motivational.

When is the proper time to delegate? You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can someone else perform this task, or is it critical that you do it yourself?
  • Does the task provide opportunities to grow and develop another person’s skills?
  • Do you have enough time to delegate the job effectively?
  • Is this a task that I should delegate?

Steps to effective delegation:

  • Know what you want or can delegate
  • Clearly express your objectives
  • Set expectations
  • Have confidence in that person’s abilities
  • Communicate and follow up

Remember, “No manager is an island”. Effective delegation will help you achieve a work-life balance and will allow you to become a more productive leader. It also gives your staff the opportunity to prove themselves and gain the necessary confidence to succeed. In the end, proper delegation is a “win-win” for everyone involved.

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2 thoughts on “To Delegate, Or Not To Delegate: That Is The Question

  1. When I ask top executives their plan to better balance their work and home lives, their first answer typically is “I’m going to delegate more.” The next year, they will tell me the same thing. The Art of Delegation seems to be tricky for many executives. It seems to me, if you master the art of delegation, knowing what to hand off and what to do yourself, you will be on your way to an improved work/life balance. You have provided some great tips.

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