The key to successful delegation is to have people participate in developing the goals and plans, before tasks are defined and assigned. Including members in these discussions and decisions can result in a sense of ownership and responsibility. It helps everyone grow and it is more likely everyone will complete their tasks.
After you’ve included members in goal setting and planning, keep the momentum going. Keep including their ideas. Keep encouraging their creativity.
Delegation is not just a skill to use to get tasks done. It is an opportunity to mentor someone. When you delegate you offer a member a role to play. You offer him/her a sense of accomplishment and empowerment. If you delegate successfully, you will encourage everyone’s best thinking and build a stronger, lasting organization.
· Break tasks down into do-able parts.
· Calculate how much time each task will take.
· Do a timeline and set deadlines for each task.
2. Assess and Assign
· Remind members of the “big picture.” Why is the project important?
· Encourage initiative and questions.
· Help members think through their time commitments.
· Try to match members’ interests with the tasks; but also give people variety.
· Give critical tasks to someone reliable or experienced.
· Give clear and specific directions and confirm that they understand and agree.
· Agree on dates that tasks are due.
· Tell them you will follow up and when.
· Be ready to scale back or cancel if you find the project requires more people power than you have.
3. Follow up
· Check in in a timely way (not right before tasks are due).
· Offer assistance.
· Problem-solve with them.
· Let go: let them develop their own way of doing things. Encourage creativity.
· If people make mistakes, don’t lose your patience. Discuss what happened and everyone can learn from it.
4. Follow through
· Use all contributions in some way.
· Always thank people.
· Give constructive feedback.
· Ask people for feedback on your delegating process.
· Recognize contributions publicly or within the organization.