Delegation isn’t just about giving someone else something from your task list (as tempting as that may be). Delegation is really an agreement between two parties, both of whom have responsibilities to uphold.
You might not use a formal contract, but there must be mutual understanding around what is expected. What do you need to define in order to make delegation successful?
What is the expected impact? What effect will this work have on the team and/or the organization?
What results are expected? What key indicators will define success? What will be different once the work is done?
What boundaries on the work might exist? Who should be involved? What should be communicated to whom and how often? Are there other parameters (“do this, not that”) regarding how the work should be performed?
What are our mutual responsibilities post-delegation? What information will be shared? How often and by what means will we communicate? How will assistance and support be sought and given?
Delegation requires an investment of time in exploring and documenting these key points. And delegating does not always mean giving away 100% of the responsibility and accountability.
So what are the delegation payoffs? You can focus on the stuff that only you can do. The person delegated to gains experience and skill. The organization accomplishes X. And they all live happily ever after.
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