Delegation in the workplace is often done poorly and the delegate can be left feeling either micro-managed or set adrift without guidance. Help them focus and still work independently with this strategy.
Photo by Alex E. Proimos.
It is common to delegate work to another person by telling them what you want them to do and how you want them to do it — with a lengthy emphasis on how you do it and a variety of tips and tricks you use. People tend to overemphasise the how-to and not focus enough on the outcome. Over at Ian’s Messy Desk they open their list of effective delegation tips with:
Define the task and identify the outcome, not the process. The process that works for you may not work for others. Maybe you’ve been doing a job one way, because that’s how you were taught 20 years ago. When delegating, describe the successful outcome and let the person to find their best way to completion. Who knows, you might learn something from them.
If they ask for tips because they are new to the procedure or task, by all means feel free to offer your advice but otherwise it’s best to give people autonomy and focus instead on what needs to be done and what you expect when it is done. For more tips on delegation, check out the full article at Ian’s Messy Desk. Have a tip or trick for effective delegation of work in or outside of the workplace? Let’s hear about it in the comments.
5 Tips for Effective Delegation [Ian’s Messy Desk]