How to Delegate Effectively

  1. Don’t fall into the “I can do it quicker and better” syndrome. If you do, you are not managing. You will stay stuck in a rut and keep your subordinates in a rut too. Delegate the work.
  2. Clarify the task in your own mind. Visualize what the finished task/ product would look like. Many times supervisors are disappointed with the work their subordinates return to them because the supervisors themselves weren’t clear on what they wanted.
  3. Write and outline or sketch what you want. You’ll find it helps clarify what you’re thinking. Soon you’ll be verbally expressing what you want more clearly.
  4. Do the task in your mind- walk through the various steps. That way you’ll know to point out specific details that your delegate may not know about.
  5. Enlist the person’s help. Tell him you’re improving your skills in giving instructions and would like assistance.
  6. Ask the person to jot down the instructions as you give them. Or ask the person to repeat what
    he or she heard so you can make sure you’re being clear.
  7. Don’t be a perfectionist. If you get back work that is different from what you expected, decide whether it’s acceptable the way it is. Then say, “This is fine for now. However, next time I would like it done this way.” If it isn’t acceptable, discuss the changes you would like made. But keep in mind that having someone continually redo acceptable work so that it’s perfect is demoralizing, frustrating and a waste of time.
  8. Write out instructions. This method works especially well when the delegate is not available for discussion, has a language barrier, or when you know that person has many other chores to do on a particularly busy day.
  9. Put a due date and time on your requests. If it is not possible to complete the task within the deadline, request that the delegate get back to you and renegotiate the time allowed.
  10. Create an Assignment Tracking Sheet and log tasks in. List what was assigned to whom and when it is due. Keep copies of instructions and due dates so things will not fall through the cracks.
  11. Follow up. Agree on check-in points. If your delegate was given a week to complete a task, check in after two days.

Source: USMMA: www.usmma.edu