Ten Tips For Delegating Well

July 6, 2010 by  Filed under: Management 

Delegating is no big deal. And giving good directions to others is a “piece of cake.”

Is that what you think?

Recall a time when you were assigned a new job or task, and the person making the assignment had:

– High standards
– A tight timeline before the work had to be complete
– Little or no time for you to ask questions of them, once the task was assigned to you

Now, recall:

– What directions did you receive for that work?

– What resources did the person provide you for guidance, in case you had problems you couldn’t resolve as you worked?

– How did it work out? Were you able to complete the assignment successfully?

– If so, what are the main reasons it worked out well?

– If there were problems with the project or its result, what made the work difficult?

I had the experience of starting a new job at a new company right into middle of the busiest season of the year in the department where I had been hired. My manager had very high standards and I knew I would learn a lot there, which a big reason why the job appealed to me. But I was also going to have a steep learning curve in this job, which I knew, and my manager knew, too. And I was not the only one like that in the department.

Delegating well, and providing effective guidance to new employees were leadership skills that were essential for success with this particular team. Because my manager didn’t like to take the time to provide instructions or send employees to training, people in the group fairly often found themselves caught in a proverbial – and preventable – thorny thicket of problems.

One particular time, he and I had no alternative but to stop and correct something that had gone very wrong with a big deliverable on a tight timeline. Suddenly there was no choice for him but to pause, slow down, listen and teach patiently and attentively. He had many other leadership strengths that we knew, but no one had ever seen this one before. And suddenly, with calm direction and teaching, the work now seemed easy to me. The problems seemed clear, the solutions achievable.

I learned a lot in that department, surviving the boot camp he’d created, perhaps unwittingly. And it prepared me well for other jobs at that company. But looking back, I still feel that the same thing could have been accomplished far less painfully.

Here are a few guidelines for you to provide good instructions, if you delegate work to others:

When you make the assignment of a project or task, provide this information to the person who will be doing the job:

1. Who needs this work? What will they do with the product, service or information that is being provided to them?

2. What are the customers’ standards for a high quality job, such as timeliness, cost, and quality requirements?

3. When does the customer need the work to be complete?

4. Is there a process or procedure they must follow to do the work? Where are the specific instructions for that?

5. Are there constraints they need to know about?

6. Are there materials or tools they need to do the job? Where will they get those?

7. If they need further guidance while doing the work, where should they go or whom should they contact?

8. How can they reach you as they work, if need be?

9. Will someone check the work before it goes to the customer? If so, who will do that, and when will that happen in the overall process?

10. What questions do they have? Do they need to have any information explained in another way to fully understand the instructions for what they must complete?

And now I invite you to get your copy of the free report, “Leading Teams Successfully Through Uncertain Times” when you visit http://www.jgrichardsresults.com from Jan Richards, J.G. Richards Consulting – Turning Business Goals Into Great Results.

Article Source:


Jan Richards - EzineArticles Expert Author

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