Effective Delegation, Tips 11 to 15

In two previous posts related to effective delegation, Letting go is hard to do and Delegating Tips 6 to 10 I shared the first ten tips to get you on your way to effective successful delegation.  Here are the next five.

11. Anticipate That They’ll Do It Differently Than You: You can’t give away ownership and expect the “delegatee” to use all of your existing methods. Know they’ll do it differently, and know that’s a good thing: Many of the professionals who work for you will actually do things better than you. That both strengthens your organization and allows you to focus on your most critical roles: Setting the vision, creating the strategy, and growing the business.

12. Provide the Safety Net: People won’t take risks, explore new ways of doing things and look for added efficiencies unless we eliminate their fear of failure. Let them know that you not only have faith in their ability to complete the task and succeed in their new role, but that you’re there to assure that they won’t fail. Equally important, let them know that if they do fail, you fail together. Most important, let them know that failure is a critical detour on the road to success.

13. Know It Will Be Uncomfortable: Delegating can be a little uncomfortable for the person getting the new responsibility, and very uncomfortable for you, the person giving it away. Accepting this upfront will make it easier to accept.

14. Fight The Urge!: When things get rocky, when they take longer than expected, when you can’t stand the first result, you’ll be tempted to take back the work, with the words “I’ll just do it myself.” Fight that urge!  While doing so might get this one assignment done more quickly, it can harm both your staffer’s confidence and your relationship, but more important, it will prevent you from doing your most critical jobs. So do take the long-term view, don’t take back work you’ve delegated, and you’ll both succeed.

15. If It’s Not Working: If  this happens it’s tempting to blame the staffers to whom you’re delegating. Stop it.  Delegation frequently hits a roadblock because you’re not doing it well. So instead of falling into the trap of doing everything yourself, spend time candidly assessing what’s not working and in particular, your role in the process.  Accept the fact that you may have delegation roadblocks. Take a long hard look at what they are, create a specific plan to overcome them and take action.

I hope you’ve found this series on delegation valuable.  Please share your delegating challenges, and the techniques you’ve used to overcome them, in the Comments section.  (And please let me know if you’ve got a delegation roadblock with which I can help you.)

Ken Jacobs

I’m the principal of Jacobs Communications Consulting, which helps public relations and communications agencies and organizations grow and manage business, and enhance staff performance, leadership and communications skills.We do so via consulting, training, and coaching. To learn more, please click on the “Jacobs Communications Consulting” tab on the top.

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  1. […] weekly posts we featured Ken Jacob’s delegating tips — and now there’s more! Read up on the last few tips in the series at his blog, Ken’s Views. Delegation is not the […]