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A Simple Series of Leadership How-To’s…

One can’t say “Start Delegating better” if you haven’t ever taught someone HOW to delegate. This kind of thing happens a lot. In fact, so often we share our best advice and tell people to “Go and do this”, but we don’t give them the steps. It’s a very common form of direction from someone who is so skilled they’ve literally forgotten what steps they took to gain all that experience. Well, “HOW do you do that?’ being a most popular question, here’s HOW to do that dreaded topic of Delegation.

First, Delegation is giving someone else a chance to learn a task or skill they did not already know how to do.

It is not giving someone all the junk you would rather not do. Seriously.

Second, monitor the skills, performance, output, and quality of the person to whom you are delegating.

Without this knowledge, you have no way of knowing if your expectations of how they will perform the task you are delegating are on target or way out of whack.

Third, develop trust of that person.

This is critical. If you do not have a level of trust with that person, it will result in micromanagement borne out of your own fear of them failing to do it as well as you would have. With trust, you will be able to rest easy knowing they will do their best and everything they can to meet your timeline or quality standards.

Fourth, develop a rapport with that person.

Unless you know how this person operates or are willing to learn, you are risking disappointment in delegating to him or her. If there is a sense of urgency or great deal riding on the project you’re delegating, it will be more effective to have developed a rapport with this person and a relationship that will withstand questions, inquiries, unexpected changes, and so on. Rapport can be developed by finding things in common, asking questions, listening, showing interest in who they are vs. just what they do, and more. Seek out materials by Bert Decker for Rapport Building and Communication.

Fifth, give them the details and let go.

The details in delegation include:

  • what do you want them to do?
  • by when do you want it completed?
  • are there any cautions that you specifically want them to look out for or stay away from?
  • are there consequences of not getting it done?
  • who can they call for help if they get stuck?

If you follow those five steps, AND the five bullets in Step 5, your delegation results, and thus your comfort level with it as a practice, will increase dramatically. Oh, and that comfort level and your increased confidence…well, it’s most definitely contagious!

Monica Wofford, CSP, CEO
Contagious Companies, Inc.

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