effective delegation

January 7, 2010

Delegation Is A Critical Role – For Every Manager

As a manager, it’s useful to understand what delegation is and how valuable it can be for you.

In fact, any business is usually run by managers operating at various levels who all need to delegate authority and tasks to their team members, so that they themselves can handle more relevant activities.

Some tasks are delegated as a matter of routine, while others are so important that managers decide these kinds of tasks more suitable for their personal attention and hence will not be delegated.

It is therefore important to ensure that you know which tasks are appropriate for delegation and those which should not be.

For many managers, delegating work and authority seems to be nothing more than a means of exercising free will in handing down tasks and responsibilities to others, who must then complete the task assigned to them and be accountable for the outcomes.

However, in its truest sense, delegating tasks and authority is not really an exercise of free will; it is meant to be a means whereby a manager can alleviate heavy workload and additional responsibilities that they cannot do on their own. By delegating some work and authority to others, it allows you to free your time and focus on doing more important work.

Nor is delegating authority and work is such a simple thing; for those who have never delegated before, chances are that they can make it difficult for themselves – because they do not know what is really required of them to get bit right.

To successfully delegate, you will need to have certain skills, patience, confidence and some courage too. With these attributes can should be able to delegate successfully.

Another question that you will need to answer is just how will you benefit by delegating work or authority! Effective delegation means picking the right person to do the right task – choosing a responsible person who can be given certain amount of authority to get things done.

However, even after delegating work/authority your job will not end there because you are, after all, going to be held responsible for the outcome for that you have delegated. You will always need to ensure that the work delegated is performed according to your high standards.

As a matter of fact, many companies view delegating tasks to be a means of developing an employee’s capabilities. When you delegate you will be giving an employee more responsibility, which in turn can act as a motivating force for them to complete the task in the manner you require.

After delegating activities, you will then need to look at the work done by the employee and use their performance as a yardstick with which to measure their effectiveness.

Someone who performs their delegated work well and shoulders responsibility in a desired manner can be developed further, perhaps leading to later promotion, while an employee that fails to produce desired results may be best left at their existing level.

The bottom line is that managers can use delegation as a means to resolve short-term activities, where they themselves need support. In fact, by delegating it is possible to create enough time to personally deal with more important tasks, improving effectiveness, whilst being more efficient in your work, whilst developing your people too.

A good manager who delegates, will be able to manage better and those entrusting new and interesting tasks will be more motivated and committed to their work – and an amazing win-win that works for all.

Filed under Blog, Building the Future, Developing Your People, Managing Me by Martin

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March 10, 2009

Quick Thinking Required!

I’m fascinated by productivity. Making things actually happen, instead of pondering endlkessly is a huge step forward for any manager.

When I was in Australia recently, I met up with Dr Ken Hudson, from The Speed Thinking Zone. Ken’s premise is that things take way too long and there is a better way.

Hudson’s Law of Meetings

February 27, 2009

In 1955, Cyril Northcote Parkinson suggested, in a tongue in cheek way, what has since become known as Parkinsons Law. It states:

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

I would like to suggest that this be updated for meetings in what i have called Hudson’s Law of Meetings:

Meetings expand to the time set for the meeting.

Think about it. Have you ever been at a meeting when someone says, well we have the meeting room booked for the next hour why don’t we stay till then. Why should you? If the meeting is over the meeting is over.

Why do most of us feel guilty about having a shorter meeting or one that finishes early? In a recent workshop we covered all we had to do and i suggested that we finish early. One person started to complain about this.

Why I asked?

Why don’t you use the extra time to go to the gym or see your kids or go to a movie?

If Hudson’s rule is valid then we should think seriously about the amount of time we spend in meetings. Why are all our meetings at least one hour? Why aren’t these half an hour?

Imagine how much time you could free up and how more productive and enjoyable your life could be.

Ken Hudson

Ken’s thinking is fast paced, as you might expect. I like his stuff and I want to know more, despite Australia being quite a hike from where I am.

I think you might like to check it out too, right here at The Speed Thinking Zone

Filed under Blog by Martin

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November 18, 2008

6 Tips To Effective Delegation


As an executive, supervisor, manager or team leader, you make daily decisions about everyone’s workload. Delegation is an excellent management tool to maximize your team’s performance; however, it is a skill that needs to be learned. To help maximize your delegation skills, we have put together 6 tips and 5 core competencies to improve your delegation skills.

6 Tips To Effective Delegation

1. Give The Person A Whole Task To Do – People prefer to get the job done and not wait for someone else to hand-off a component of it. Likewise, connect everyone who is actively working on the project so they can all see the big picture.

2. Make Sure They Understand Exactly What You Want Them To Do – Take the time to manage expectations so things are done correctly. Establish performance standards with SMART goals. That way, it is crystal clear what and how the task or project needs to be done.

3. Share Your Vision With Them – People like to know what your vision is on a project so share it with them. If they understand the big picture and how the task or project they are delegated fits into that big picture, they are more likely to be committed to it.

4. Set Project Due Dates – Most people need to know due dates so they can effectively manage a project. By setting specific dates and milestones you will help your team better manage a project that has been delegated to them.

5. Give Them The Right Tools – Make sure your team has the right tools to do the job. This can range from computers to software and everything in between.

6. Reward Your Team – Rewarding people for their individual and group performance is a great way to motivate them. Although financial consideration is great, best-in-class leaders find creative ways to reward their team.

Effective Delegation Can Strengthen Any Organization

Delegating tasks not only fosters a team environment but can help individuals increase their level of performance. Doing so, you will find individuals increasing their responsibility, leadership skills and project management skills. Plus, it’s an excellent way for them to feel important to your organization.

The 5 Competencies To Help Maximize Your Delegation Skills

1. Make Your Team Accountable – Leaders who delegate well demonstrate personal responsibility and hold everyone accountable for organizational outcomes.

2. Human Resource Management – Leaders who delegate well make sure there are resources available to meet the team’s goals and objectives.

3. Solid Interpersonal Skills – Leaders who delegate well build solid relationships of trust and respect inside and outside the organization.

4. Leveraging Diversity – Leaders who delegate well find ways to leverage capabilities, insights and ideas across diverse cultures, styles and ability.

5. Strong Leadership – Leaders who delegate know how to enhance their organization’s value, while tapping into their team’s skills and abilities, to help achieve the desired results.

SUMMARY – Effective delegation is all about sharing the workload, with the added bonus of developing skills and responsibility in others. A leader not only needs to look at the “final result” but also who worked, who didn’t work and what they should do differently next time. The 6 tips and the 5 competencies above will not only help you achieve a work-life balance but also become more productive.

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”
–General George Smith Patton, Jr.

If you want to find out more about how Dale Carnegie’s® Competency Based Development Solutions can make your business more effective, or need more information on this subject, please contact us.

Anita Zinsmeister, President
Dale Carnegie® Training of Central and Southern NJ
(609) 324-9200

Filed under Developing Your People, Management Basics by Martin

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