Delegation is not the giving out of tasks or 'jobs to be done'. Normally, a delegated task takes more than a short time frame to complete. It does not involve telling people what to do, rather it involves explaining the outcomes and results they are expected to achieve. They are then expected to work out the 'how' and the steps involved.
Delegation is often very difficult for new supervisors and managers.
Many managers want to remain comfortable making the same decisions they have always made. They believe they can do a better job themselves. They don’t want to risk losing control of the situation or outcome. Often, they don’t want to risk giving authority to subordinates in case of failure.
Delegation is one of the most important management skills. These logical rules and techniques will help you to delegate well (and will help you to help your manager when you are being delegated a task or new responsibility - delegation is a two-way process!). Good delegation saves you time, develops you people, grooms a successor, and motivates. Poor delegation will cause you frustration, demotivates and confuses the other person, and fails to achieve the task or purpose itself. So it's a management skill that's worth improving. Here are the simple steps to follow if you want to get delegation right, with different levels of delegation freedom that you can offer.
Delegation is vital for effective leadership. See the leadership tips and leadership theorieswebpages for guidance and explanation of how delegation enables and increases leadership effectiveness.
Effective delegation is crucial for management and leadership succession. For the successor, and for the manager or leader too: the main task of a manager in a growing thriving organization is ultimately to develop a successor. When this happens everyone can move on to higher things. When it fails to happen the succession and progression becomes dependent on bringing in new people from outside.
A simple delegation rule is the SMART acronym, or better still, SMARTER. It's a quick checklist for proper delegation. Delegated tasks must be:
Specific; Measurable; Agreed; Realistic; Timebound; Ethical; Recorded.
Traditional interpretations of the SMARTER acronym use 'Exciting' or 'Enjoyable', however, although a high level of motivation often results when a person achieves and is given recognition for a particular delegated task, which in itself can be exciting and enjoyable, in truth, let's be honest, it is not always possible to ensure that all delegated work is truly 'exciting' or 'enjoyable' for the recipient. More importantly, the 'Ethical' aspect is fundamental to everything that we do, assuming you subscribe to such philosophy.
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