How To Effectively Delegate

  • by kaibizzen
  • Jun 11, 2021
  • Blog

Recently I was talking to a business owner [let’s call him George] about the skills required to be a highly effective leader of his team. I asked George out of all the skills we talked about, which ones he felt that he was the most effective in. He immediately responded, “I’m a really great delegator.”

Having already spoken with a couple of the key people in his business, I responded, “Ok. George, do you mind if I explore that one with you”. Naturally, George readily agreed.

“So what makes you a really great delegator?” I asked him.

‘“Oh that’s easy,” he responded. “I’m a really clear communicator. I give my team members really clear instructions about what they need to do. I trust them to get the job done. I don’t interfere. I feel I don’t micromanage them”.

George Learns A Lesson

“Ok George. Let’s examine that a bit more.” I said.

“How well do your team members do what you tell them to do?” George looked at my quizzically.

I continued, “How often are the things you tell people to do, done exactly the way you want them to?”

“How often do you need to pick up the pieces and ‘fix’ things up?”

“How often do you get frustrated with some of the people in your business?”

“How often have you said, it would be quicker and easier if I did it myself?” George’s head dropped and I knew I had him on the ropes.

“George are you a great DELEGATOR, or are you a great TELLER WHAT TO DO?”

George seemed confused for a moment. “What are you implying Faye? Are you implying that I’m not a great delegator? Are you implying it’s my fault when things don’t get done the way I want them to do?”

I chuckled.

“George I’m not implying. I’m straight out saying you are NOT an effective delegator you are an effective ABDICATOR”.


How To Actually Be A Great Delegator

In my experience George is not on his own. Delegation is both one of the most difficult AND one of the greatest skills we are to hone if we want to be effective leaders.

Following are the 8 tips to sharpen our skill in this area:

  1. Be really clear on the task/project that needs to be done. More importantly, be absolutely clear on the outcome that you/the client/the team is expecting to see. More people tell their team what needs to be done, rather than discussing the result of the task or project. An effective delegator is more interested in what it will look when it’s done well than the what or the how it’s done. The person/project team have a really clear picture of why they are doing the task/project and where it fits in with the bigger picture.
  2. Determine who is the best person/project team with the best attitude, best willingness, the most interest, the person who would see this as a challenge, the person who would see this is an opportunity to gain some more experience. It’s not always about the person who has the greatest skill or can do it. Be prepared to explain who you chose that person/project team to complete the task or project.
  3. Communicate very clearly the boundaries. The result of great delegation will be that the person/project team knows where they have autonomy and where they don’t. A great delegator ensures there is minimal grey.
  4. The great delegator ensures that the person/project team has ALL the resources that they need to complete the task/project. Whether the resources are financial, time, people or physical resources, they will be provided. The great delegator will check and make sure the person/project has the training they need to get the job done.
  5. The effective delegator will determine milestones along the way with person/project team before they start. That way they are able to check in with them to make sure they are on track. They are able to gain and give feedback. They know this step is the balance between micromanaging and under leading.
  6. Allow the person/project team to come up with the how it’s going to get done. A great leader doesn’t concern him/herself with the how.
  7. Allow the person/project team to make mistakes. The great delegator sees these as development and learning opportunities for the person/project team rather than reinforcing the belief that it would have been quicker and easier to do it themselves. Delegation then isn’t a skill per se, its more the way we do things around here.
  8. Be the person/project teams greatest cheer leader. Look for opportunities to praise for effort well done, provide support when things aren’t going right, tweak things.

If you’d like to know how Rob and I could work with you to ensure you be the most effective delegator, get in touch. We’re here to support you achieving the business and the life you and your family deserve.

02 Oct

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