Communication, clear goals key to effective delegation

August 25, 2010

With a troubled economy and competition around every corner, doing more with less has become a way of life for many managers and their employees. And an important skill when you’re leading a group of two or two hundred is delegation. And it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Delegation means handing the reigns to someone else, it means giving up some level of control and it most definitely means taking the fall for someone else if for some reason things don’t pan out as they should.

The following are some guidelines to help you delegate more effectively:

Determine what to delegate. Delegating is different than asking someone to do something that’s already in their realm of duties. It means giving someone else one of your job tasks, but maintaining control and responsibility for that task.

Outline your desired results. How do you define successful completion of the task? Articulate that as well as any specific methods you require to accomplish the task.

Define the employee’s responsibility. Then ask the employee to relay the responsibility back to you – if the two don’t match, review it again.

Define boundaries. Make sure the employee knows what calls he or she can make and what calls need approval. Also, where applicable, inform him or her of any budgetary limitations.

Establish a time limit. How quickly does this task need to be executed? Asking someone to do something “when they have time” means it will never get done.

Follow-up. Schedule meetings to monitor progress and determine additional needs.

It’s important to keep in mind that delegation is not all about relinquishing tasks to employees – it’s about letting those employees grow professionally. Effective delegation is based on constant communication and understanding.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Birmingham, Alabama. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @dalecarnegieala.

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