Mindstate Motivation Blog

Good Delegation Rules Apply to You

b2ap3_thumbnail_00439502Entirely too many people, in my opinion, struggle with how to effectively delegate responsibilities to other people.  For some reason they think saying something like (“Here, do this.”) gets the job done and off of their plate.  Nothing could be further from the truth as confirmed time after time when the deadline for a project comes and the assigned responsibility didn’t get done right or at all.


Success at anything always comes with a price and dumping and running to avoid a responsibility isn’t one of them.  Success, at a minimum price, always requires efficient and effective effort applied with consistency over time.  In short, there is no short-cut to success.


So, what’s a person to do when what stands between them and success is delegating responsibility?


First, clearly define what it is you want to delegate.  If you can’t define it, then you don’t understand it enough to explain it.  If you can’t explain it, how can you expect anyone to understand it well enough to get it done correctly and on a timely basis?


Next, you have to think strategically about the strengths and weaknesses of the person to whom you intend to delegate that task.  Never delegate to a person that doesn’t have the right characteristics or circumstances to be able to complete the assignment successfully.  Effective delegation always sets people up to succeed not fail.


Having defined the task to be delegated and the person to whom to delegate it, the third requirement of good delegation is to explain clearly exactly what it is you want done and by when.  Here, again, if you don’t understand it, then you can’t explain it and, if that is the case, no one will be successful at trying to do it.  As Stephen R. Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, once noted, “Fast is slow with people and slow is fast.”  The lesson in his comment for you regarding delegation is slowing down up front in the delegation process creates a successful and timely result more quickly.


Last but not least when it comes to effective delegation you must set clear expectations as to the timeline and checkpoints for completion of the task. You can’t turn something over to someone without holding that person accountable in very specific ways.  The concept is “delegation” not “abdication.” As the delegator, you still own the ultimate responsibility for getting the task done through the person to whom you’ve delegated it.


Now, review the above four steps in effective delegation.  When you think about how to successfully navigate your personal road to success, the same good delegation rules apply to you, too.

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