Delegation is an art as well as a defined process. Everyone can learn the art of delegation with continuous application of few simple practices. We are mentioning below few guidelines for learning successful delegation.
- Clearly articulate the desired outcome. Begin with the end in mind and specify the desired results.
- Empower people to decide what tasks are to be delegated to whom and when. Give them choice and include people in the delegation process. Delegate up to the lowest possible organizational level because many a time the best solution lies with them.
- Clearly define the line of authority and accountability. Identify constraints and boundaries. Answer some important questions in advance like;
- Should they wait to be told what to do?
- Should they Ask what to do?
- Should they recommend what should be done and wait for final go ahead from your end?
- Should they act, and then report results immediately?
- Should they Initiate action, and then report periodically?
- You can delegate only some responsibility; however you can’t delegate ultimate accountability. Be mindful that the buck stops with you!
- Ensure that buck stops with you; Match the amount of responsibility with the amount of authority. Understand that:
- Offer and be available for support and to answer questions. Become aware that the project’s success depends on ongoing communication and adequate support of knowledge and resources.
- Establish and maintain control.
Focus more on success, and less on process:- Concern yourself with what is accomplished, rather than detailing how the work should be done. Your way is not necessarily the only best way! Where ever possible, allow the person to use his own creativity. This will facilitates success and trust.
- Discuss timelines and deadlines.
- Agree on a schedule of checkpoints at which you’ll review project progress.
- Take time to review all the submitted work
- In case of problem, don’t allow the person to shift responsibility back to you: ask for recommended solutions and advise and then agree on next course of actions.
- Build and maintain care, motivation and commitment throughout the entire process. Discuss how success will impact rewards, formal and informal recognition, future opportunities and other desirable consequences.
Give credit to the doer as much as he deserves. Be lavish, don’t act miserly.
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