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6 Ways to Delegate Effectively at Work

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Thursday, May 18, 2017

Are you an effective delegator? Too many bosses believe that if you want it done right, do it yourself. And really you aren't alone. According to a Gallup study, 75 percent of employer entrepreneurs have limited-to-low levels of delegator talent. But for your business to grow, it is necessary to delegate. Here are six tips on how to delegate effectively from U.S. News blogger Hallie Crawford.


  1. Know whom to ask. You know your staff – you know their strengths and weaknesses. Delegate the jobs to them that you know they can handle. But avoid overtasking them – you don't want to overburden them and make it impossible for them to get the tasks done.
  2. Give it a trial run. If you have selected an employee to delegate tasks to, consider giving them a “test” task. This way you can test their reliability and still let them be successful
  3. Make sure the task is explained clearly. When delegating, you never want to set an employee up for failure so be sure to thoroughly explain what you want, give them good instructions and any answer any questions that they may have. Spending the time on the front end ensures the task is done right and there isn't any “fixing” to be done on the backend.
  4. Set clear deadlines. Be sure to set a clear deadline. Giving a deadline an “urgent” or an “ASAP” makes it vague and open to interpretation.
  5. Have reasonable expectations. Being able to delegate, means you are going to have to let someone else do the job. And you have to accept that they may not do the job the exact way that you would. If you try to force them to do it the exact way you do, you will micromanage the project – which isn't really delegating. Check in on them but give them some freedom to do the job themselves.
  6. Don't take back the project. If you take back something you delegated, you just told the employee that you don't trust them. Again, they may not do it exactly the way that you would but if it is finished in an acceptable way, you should thank them and recognize them for their contributions.



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