Delegation – Are you scared?
The term that can create shivers and fear…
Often delegation is a horrendous hand-off of work to another person, and then the manager feels like something was accomplished. BUT the person delegated too feels used and confused.
If follow-up occurs, it is haphazard, reactionary, and punitive. Forcing the manager and employee into a “Gotchya!” scenario, where each is to blame for the poor outcome.
When delegation is used for good, it is a powerful system for performance & growth.
A well-delegated task assignment/goal should create leverage of work and output greater than 1 to 1…when used for a development tool, a manager can use delegation to create a 10 to 1 even a 1000 to 1 shift in output and completion of work on time, within budget and quality specifications. This is how large-scale organizational work gets done through well-organized and planned delegation of tasks properly matched to the level of work of the person being delegated to.
Delegation Solution – Setting the foundation of what’s expected
Respond to the questions below thinking about the task to be delegated.
- What do you expect the person to do?
- Is that realistic based upon their abilities, time, and knowledge?
- You have defined the delegated expectation; how will you know that they are completing it within the expected QQTR goals?
- On a scale of 0 – 10, with 10 being absolute and 0 being the opposite, what is your current level of confidence that the delegated task can be completed? What would a 9 look like on that scale?
- What can you / have you already done to ensure that the person will be successful in completing the task?
- If you woke up tomorrow morning and they magically were done with the task you delegated, what would be the 1st concrete / tangible sign that you would notice to have you realize that the task is done without them telling you?
- Knowing this person’s work, when have they completed similar tasks and had success? When else? When else? How did you know?
- Based on your responses to these questions, what is the best path for you to delegate the tasks to this person?
- When can you go and see how they are progressing?
When you have set the foundation and are sure that the delegation is appropriate, you can see how this delegation assignment is meant to increase managerial-leadership leverage AND develop the person WHILE freeing up time for the discretionary areas of judgment…then effective delegation happens.
What do you think?
In what ways can you use the delegation foundation questions to define the delegated task assignment? What have you done that is effective with delegation?