Delegation is a Four Letter Word

950702_team What do you think of when you hear the word delegation?  Maybe, “oh great more work getting passed my way, yippee.. I can’t wait.”  The business owner, supervisor or manager should not be the only ones in the office that delegate.  When working as a team, many times each person on the team needs to delegate work in order to make things run more efficiently to get things done.  The ultimate goal of the office should be “working together to get the job done.”

Delegation involves entrusting another person with a task for which the delegate remains ultimately responsible.  An effective manager or team member must monitor a delegated project or task still assuming responsibility while allowing the delegate to work independently.  When choosing a delegate for a task or project that you need done you need to assess whether the person you are picking is fully capable of performing the task.  Such as, if you need to type business marketing letters to potential clients, you would want to make sure that the person you delegated this task to was someone who not only knew how to type but had the skill of how to draft excellent marketing materials. Having appointed a delegate you must ensure that they are allowed sufficient independence to undertake the task in their own way, subject to an initial briefing and progress reports until the task is finished.

There is a difference in assigning a task and delegation.  When you assign a task you are asking the person to do something a certain way and then report when the task is complete. When you delegate you not only are assigning work you are giving the team member the full responsibility to carry it out.  They need to come up with a plan and execute it to complete the task and desired outcome, they are allowed to own it and be creative.

Why delegate? You cannot do it all by yourself.  My favorite saying when it comes to teamwork is  “None of us is a good as all of us.” Trying to do everything yourself can lead to burnout, stomach ulcers, heart attacks and nervous breakdowns.  Sometimes we do not delegate because we either think or know that we can do the job better.  That may be the case, but your time and energy could be spent on other things that would make the office run more efficiently. Each of the team members has talents and skills that contribute to your team’s performance.  By delegating assignments you give team members the opportunity to use those skills and shine in a spotlight of their own.

” If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself” ~ Henry Ford

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