How to be a master at delegation


Delegation is a key management skill that allows you to focus your work where it makes the most difference, while developing your people and building a more efficient team.


When delegating, it is important to choose a task that will be challenging, but not daunting. This might be something that a member of your team can do more quickly or cost-effectively. Look at your routine duties and ask yourself if you really need to do each one of them. All too often, owner managers believe that because they can do something they ought to do it.


Where possible, you should delegate a complete, end-to-end task. This will be more beneficial for the individual involved because it will promote a greater sense of ownership and accomplishment. The person should be chosen on the basis of his or her ability, experience, training needs and reliability.


Clear communication is vital. Explain what is needed, why it is needed, and when it is needed by. In addition, you should agree on targets at set intervals and put progress review dates in place. Check progress regularly, but resist the temptation to interfere in the detail.


Before the individual starts the project, you should ensure they feel capable of delivering the outcomes you expect. It is equally important to allow for glitches along the way – everyone can learn from mistakes.


Finally, give credit to the individual when the task has been completed and make sure you get feedback so you can evaluate his or her learning and development.