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Delegation, a Manager's Secret to Accomplishing More

By kathyholmes ·
Are you a manager or supervisor who finds him/herself running at full speed only to reach the end of the day wondering what you accomplished? Do you find yourself focussing more on the hot fire issues and neglecting the big pictures items that you know will improve the performance of the business? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you are not alone. Most managers I talk to are feeling the pressures of limited time and resources.

I speak with leaders from various sectors who all express the desire to do more with the time they have available. Many will say ?If I want it done right, I have to do it myself? or ?It will take less time for me to just do it myself.? In truth, when a manager takes on tasks that can be accomplished by someone else, they limit both themselves and their staff. Delegating can add to the skill set of your employees, build self esteem in employees and show them that they are important to the business ? all of which lends to improved job satisfaction and increased productivity. For the manager, delegation is a sound time and project management tool, allowing a manager to move from the position of "bailing the ship out" to actually "steering the ship".

Would you like to be able to do more in your role as a manager while empowering your staff to do more at the same time? Effective delegation techniques may help. Here are a few tips to help you get more from your time and the time of others.

1. Choose carefully when delegating. Picking the right person for the task you want to delegate is important. Ensuring that the person you delegate to has both the skills and interest in the task is important for success.

2. Clearly specify the results you require of the task. It is all too easy to assume that we have communicated our needs and more often than not, the message we think we got across is different than the message the other person received. Be sure your message is clear and your expectations are understood.

3. Explain why you are delegating. Delegation is not simply pushing workload onto others, it is an opportunity for someone to be trained up, take on additional responsibilities, prove themselves in the workplace. Be sure you have communicated your reason for delegating the task.

4. Give authority to complete the task. The task may require additional tools, resources, information, etc. Ensure that you are setting this person up for success and providing the extra?s that will be required.

5. Let others know about the delegation. By informing others, there is no question about responsibility. If cooperation is required, your delegate is able to get the information s/he needs from others.

6. Have confidence in your employees. Don?t expect them to do as good a job as you would(after all you have been doing it for awhile) Only through opportunity will they have a chance to grow. Let them know what is required and let them determine the route by which they get there. You may be surprised at the results. It is important to demonstrate your trust in the individual you have selected for a task. Do not look over their shoulder. If you feel the need to be in control, set regular review meetings for progress review.

7. Remember that there are degrees of delegation. If delegation is new to you and your delegate, start slowly and build up to full delegation.

8. When a delegate has successfully completed a task for you, remember to acknowledge the accomplishment. By acknowledging someone for a job well done, you build their confidence in themselves and in you as a leader. You people will want to do more for you and will be more willing to take on additional responsibility in the future.

Delegation does not necessarily come naturally, however with practice and time you can become an effective delegator and your delegates can become more effective at new tasks. This will allow you, as a manager to get more accomplished while building the skill set of your staff team.

"No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit." Andrew Carnegie

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by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Delegation, a Manager's S ...

Delegation of responsibility is merely buck passing.
Either the manager is reponsible no matter who does it, or they are not in which case there's nothing to delegate.

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Mostly agree

by jck In reply to Fail

A good manager not only knows how to pass the buck, but how to keep it as well.

Delegating responsibility means knowing when it's you that should take it.

A lot of managers don't, and just pass the a CYA move that they can say "I told them what was needed, gave them the tools, etc. It's their fault for..."

If done right, it is okay. But, most don't know how to take responsibility themselves or when to take it.

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Criticism Fail

by JamesRL In reply to Fail

While I don't see anything truly insightful in the OP, I would strenuously disagree with the idea that delegation is just buck passing.

While the manager has to take responsibilty for the actions of the team they lead, they don't have to do all the work or make all the decisions.

The trick is in knowing when to delegate and when to do it yourself.


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Not what I said was it ?

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Criticism Fail

delegation of responsibility is buck passing.

Military leadership maxim, you can delegate authority but you can't delegate responsibility.

ie you are responsible for your delegates...

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